When Ships Collide: “USS” Cunningham vs. Kapt’n Huck
By Julian Kasdin (Dec 28, 2007) Doghouse Boxing  
This has been a banner year for the sport of boxing. With a new record for indoor attendance set in Europe, the emergence of new stars across the globe, and revenues that have put all other pay-to-view forms of sports entertainment to shame, boxing can rightfully claim that it is on top and here to stay. While most people have basically decided that boxing is off for the holidays following the huge Mayweather vs. Hatton fight, the truth is that a very solid title fight has been able to go unnoticed threw the SOSUS nets that protect our shores. On December 29th, in Bielefeld as Steve “USS” Cunningham, 20-1
(10), defends his IBF cruiserweight title against “Kapt’n” Marco Huck, 19-0 (14).

Cunningham, despite being a champion from America in one of the higher weight classes, is a virtual unknown on this side of the Atlantic. In fact it is overseas, in two fights with Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, that Cunningham has made his mark in the cruiserweight division, and it is to European shores he must travel again to defend his title. Cunningham is by no means a knockout artist, but he packs a decent punch. His main strength is his ability to dictate the distance of a fight with his jab while moving out of his opponents’ range. Steve has fast hands and feet, two things that can be hell for most fighters, but will it be enough to beat the hard-charging Huck?

Huck, a fighter I have highlighted before, is one of the fastest rising players in the cruiserweight division. He got his start as a kickboxer, becoming world champion before the age of 20, before switching to boxing. Since then he has matured as a fighter. The formerly wild Sandzak native now mixes in a hard jab with his explosive combinations, and under the tutelage of Ulli Wegner has been able to develop a tight defense that resembles his stable mate Arthur Abraham’s shell.
Marco, much like Cunningham, is also fleet of foot, and is adept at closing the distance between him and his opponent.

So how will it all turn out when these two vessels collide in Germany? Hate to disappoint American fans, but I do not see how Cunningham will win this fight. Unfortunately for Steve, he often fights to survive, and do not think I that will not be enough against the improving and versatile Huck. Marco more than proved his abilities in fights with likes of Vadim Tokarev, who held current WBA cruiserweight champion Firat Arslan to a draw, and Rudiger May. His tight defense should be able to blunt Cunningham’s jab, and his varied offense should be enough to beat up the more cautious champion. While I do not expect Huck to stop Cunningham, his power is more thudding than sharp, I do expect him to hurt USS enough to earn his respect. Look for Huck to win via either wide decision or a late, accumulation based, TKO

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