HALLE, Germany (AP) German cruiserweight Marko Huck defeated Mirko Larghetti of Italy by unanimous decision Saturday to retain his WBO belt for the record-equaling 13th time.
The judges scored it 116-112, 116-112, 118-110 in favor of the defending champion, who was really only troubled in the seventh and eighth rounds. Huck still managed to open a cut under Larghetti's right eye in the seventh.
"I respect how my opponent fought. But I deserved to win," said Huck, who used his height, longer reach and greater experience to his advantage.
Huck improved after some harsh words from trainer Ulli Wegner at the end of the eighth.
The previously undefeated Larghetti was in danger of being knocked out by the 11th. Huck went for it in the final round, which ended with a flurry of punches as the bell was ringing to leave the challenger on the canvas.
"Huck was perhaps a little underhand," said Larghetti's trainer, Mario Massai.
The Serbian-born Huck improved to 38-2-1 (26 KOs) and equaled the record held by Johnny Nelson for the most successful title defenses in the cruiserweight division.
Larghetti dropped to 21-1 (13 KOs).