Marco Huck sees Roy Jones, return to heavyweight beyond Glowacki
NORTH BERGEN, N.J. – WBO cruiserweight titleholder Marco Huck is fighting in a new country with a new trainer, but he says his mandatory defense this Friday is business as usual.
The 30-year-old Huck (38-2-1, 26 knockouts) will fight for the first time in the United States when he faces undefeated Polish fighter Krzysztof Glowacki (24-0, 15 KOs) at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, in the co-featured bout of the PBC on Spike card headlined by Antonio Tarver vs. Steve Cunningham.
Huck is also fighting for the first time in nearly a year, and will have new trainer, Don House, in his corner. He has split ties with Sauerland Event and trainer Ulli Wegner to promote his own career.
It all marks a new beginning for the fighter out of Berlin.
“I don’t really concern myself with my opponents,” Huck said at Tuesday’s media workout at Global Boxing Gym in North Bergen. “A lot of people before (Glowacki) have said they were in the best shape of their lives. He’s not the first one and they all came crashing down.
“My opponents adjust to me; I don’t adjust to them.”
“We saw some of (Glowacki’s) fights; I’m not too concerned with him other than he’s a southpaw,” said House. “I don’t think he has Marco’s power, Marco’s speed.”
Huck, who is making his 14th title defense, could surpass Johnny Nelson’s record for most successful consecutive cruiserweight title defenses should he retain against Glowacki. Nelson also held the WBO title and retired as champion in 2005.
Camp in Vegas
For the first time since turning pro in 2004, Huck experienced a training camp in Las Vegas, working with a familiar sparring partner in Chauncey Welliver, plus a few rounds with former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champ Frank Mir, among others in a seven-week camp that served as a bonding experience for Huck and House.
“Sometimes when you get away from home, you know why you’re away from home. You’re there to work,” House said of bringing Huck out to the desert capital of boxing.
Glowacki, like Huck, will be fighting in the United States for the first time, but will effectively have a hometown edge as fellow Polish boxers Artur Szpilka (who faces Yasmany Consuegra) and Kamil Laszczyk (who faces Oscauris Frias) are likely to bring buses full of fans to the venue where compatriot Tomasz Adamek became a significant North Jersey draw.
Huck may have his plate full with Glowacki, but he has a few goals set beyond this weekend. One includes a possible showdown with Roy Jones Jr., a childhood hero of his who has mentioned Huck’s name several times.
Jones, well past his days as the pound-for-pound best fighter of the ’90s, is now 46 but has two fights set for this month, against Billy Bailey and Danny Santiago, plus a fight set next month against Tony Moran in England, according to Boxrec.com.
Huck says he grew up idolizing Jones, but would set aside his fandom should the two meet.
“I used to watch all of his fights when I was a kid,” said Huck, who is rated No. 1 at cruiserweight by THE RING. “When I heard he was mentioning my name all of the time, I didn’t know what to feel. I wouldn’t know how to feel about smacking him in the face, it would feel a little weird for me.”
A fight with Jones would also settle a score for House, who trained Derrick Harmon for his 2001 light heavyweight title fight with Jones, which Jones won by 10th-round technical knockout.
“I don’t lose twice to the same fighter,” said House.
Huck also says he has unfinished business at heavyweight, where he lost a majority decision to then-WBA titleholder Alexander Povetkin in their 2012 meeting. House says he’d like a few fights to work with Huck at cruiserweight before eventually moving up, while Huck sounds ready to make the jump in the near future.
“When I go back up eventually I don’t want to fight any bums,” said Huck. “I want to fight the big guys right away. I’ve been mentioning (Wladimir) Klitschko for a number of years now. So far he’s dodged the bullet. Maybe I’ll go up and fight (WBC titleholder) Deontay Wilder, he’s also an interesting option.”
Wilder’s name perks House’s interest, as it was Wilder who ended his fighter Bermane Stiverne’s title reign earlier this year. Though the language barrier between House and Huck means they can only communicate through simple phrases, both found this subject something to share a laugh over.
“Sleeping time,” said Huck of Wilder.
“Wilder would be a perfect fight,” House added. “They’d never fight us but it’d be a perfect fight for him.”
Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to The Ring magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.