Huck v Lebedev - Boxing shooting itself in the foot

boxing By Rob Moore: -- Click here to watch Huck vs Lebedev - full fight -- A few days ago I was contemplating sharing my thoughts on how boxing was failing itself by taking a localized approach, when the technology available allows us to take a global approach to the sport. This should allow us to bring the best and most competitive fights, no matter where they are, to a worldwide audience – something we are failing to achieve and in so doing, failing to showcase and promote he sport fully. Is this due to fight fans having no interest in fights between two be guys considered to be foreign fighters or is it the lack of exposure that leaves many fighters virtual unknown outside their own shores? A chicken and egg question.

I was going to cite the Marco Huck V Dennis Lebedev fight as a prime example of a match-up between two fit hungry heavy handed cruiser-weights, fighting for a respected world title, that has not received anything like the media attention that is deserves. The fight received nothing like the column inches that a total mismatch between two British heavies attracted, or a fight between virtually any two overweight American heavies generates. For most fight fans outside Germany who wanted to see this match-up, they were left scanning the internet for dubious streams to watch the fight. Broadcasting this fight to the US and GB would be good for boxing..

Anyway, the fight takes place, I watch it, and feel a sense of relief that it was not broadcast to a wider audience. While the contest was not as explosive as I had felt it might be, mainly due to Huck's failure to come to terms with the problems Lebedev strength and body shots posed, this was not the real problem. The problem, and it is an “elephant in the room” problem was the result. Huck by split decision. Lebedev bossed the fight.

I gave it to Lebedev by six rounds, and I say this as someone who said before the fight that if it went the distance I thought Huck was the more skilled boxer and would win the fight by decision. Well Huck got the decision, but it stank. I was embarrassed just watching. I'm sure people will say it was a home decision and that it is naïve to expect anything else. This tacit acceptance is a worrying reflection of the situation.

I believe that boxing simply cannot afford to turn a blind eye to this kind of decision or the underlying structures and interests that create the environment for it to happen. It undermines the sport that could do with a dose of integrity right now. I am fast reaching a point where I am running of credible responses to the MMA fans who point to the lack of competitive fights and cloudy financial interests that run boxing. Boxing needs to to be promoted in what is an increasingly competitive media market. Until structures are put in place that stop this less this kind of decision, we are simply in no position to do so. I believe the vast majority of potential fans watching the Huck v Lebedev fight, who we need to attract, would conclude that boxing was corrupt. If not corrupt, then incompetent.

Either way, the fans, the fighters and the sport itself deserve and need better.

In other action on the card:

Francesco Pianeta KO 1 Mike Middleton
Dustin Dirks UD 8 Alpay Kobal
Erik Skoglund RTD 1 Mile Nikolic
Kubrat Pulev UD 8 Paolo Vidoz
Yoan Pablo Hernandez KO 1 Ali Ismailov
Alexander Povetkin UD 10 Nicolai Firtha

Article posted on 20.12.2010

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