MARCO HUCK defended his WBO cruiserweight title for the 13th time – equalling Johnny Nelson’s record for successful defences – when he outpointed Italy’s Mirko Larghetti via unanimous decision.

The judges in Halle, Germany scored 116-112, 116-112, and 118-110 seemed too wide in Huck’s favour and he wasn’t impressive. So much so, that Nelson – inactive since 2005 and 47 years old – suggested he could beat Huck with six months of training.

The previously unbeaten challenger troubled Huck in the seventh and eighth rounds but was forced to hang tough over the final two sessions when the champion went for the stoppage. A desperate flurry of punches left Larghetti on the canvas as the bell sounded to conclude battle. The Italian was out, but the punch was ruled to have landed after the bell.

Huck improved to 38-2-1 (26), while Larghetti dropped to 21-1 (13).