Three times Marco Huck and Ola Afolabi have fought, and going into this bout, Afolabi thought he'd done what he needed to do ahead of time to do better than a loss--as occurred in their 2009 meeting--and a draw--which occurred when they met last May.
No dice; despite a new nutrition regimen which allowed him to trim down and be more ready to rock entering camp, the Brit of Nigerian-descent Afolabi was outworked through the first two-thirds or so of the bout, which unfolded in Berlin.
He had better luck late, but not enough to sway the judges. One judge scored it even, 114-114, while the Serbian-born Germany resident luck enjoyed 117-111 and 115-113 marks from the other two, to snag a majority nod.
There were no knockdowns between the 28-year-old Huck (36-2-1) and the 33-year-old Afolabi (19-3-4). A decision to more so target the head over the body helped Afolabi later in the bout; he may well wonder why he didn't employ that tactic earlier. His hand speed wasn't going to wow the judges, and neither was his penchant for throwing a single punch at a time. By the time he figured out that wouldn't do, though, Huck had already piled up the points.
Doubtful that Ola gets another crack at Huck, but the guy who was making Huck back up later in the fight, if he was there from the get go in a fourth fight, that guy might finally snag a W.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV