The cruiserweight division doesn’t get much press in the U.S., in part because most of the top fighters are European and also because many see the division as boxing limbo, a weight class for those that have outgrown light heavyweight and just aren’t big enough to contend with the heavyweights. Ask the casual fan to name the last cruiserweight fight they sat down and watched, and more often than not you will be met with a blank stare.
That’s too bad because over the last few years Marco Huck and Ola Afolabi have tangled in two entertaining fights. In 2009, Huck outpoint Afolabi, winning a back and forth bout that saw both land huge shots. They fought again last year, and again both teed off on each other, going 12 rounds in a fight that ended in a draw.
On June 8, Huck (35-2-1) and Afolabi (19-2-4) will meet again. Huck’s WBO cruiserweight title will be on the line, a prize Afolabi craves.
“My attitude is pretty simple,” Afolabi said. “This was my belt, this is my belt and I am coming to finally take it from him. I honestly do not see how I could lose this fight. I have been working to hard on myself and on the tactics. I should already have won the title last year. Now the time has finally come.”
After two physical fights, Afolabi expects another violent encounter.
“Huck always comes to fight,” Afolabi said. “When he turns up, he is going for it. He is a bit like a robot and just keeps coming. He is actually too tough to know when he has been hurt.”
Afolabi believes that changes in his diet in this camp will give him more stamina in the later rounds.
“I am eating properly and take vitamin supplements,” Afolabi said. “I quit eating cheeseburgers and other junk food and have turned to healthy food instead. It makes a huge difference. I could make the weight for the fight right now. So by not having to make weight I can concentrate on my training and keep my focus.”
“I am not going into the fight looking for a knockout. That would increase the risk of over-pacing during the first few rounds. However, I see myself stopping Huck early. Regardless of that, I am going to do whatever it takes to leave the ring as the winner.”