By Marco Bratusch
Two big offers shook the EBU offices in Rome, Italy, at today’s purse bid as former longtime WBO cruiserweight beltholder Marco Huck, 34, and 2016 Olympic silver-medallist destroyer Joe Joyce, 34, are set to collide for the vacant European heavyweight title.
Huck’s German venture Huck Service put in the envelope the amount of 480,000 Euros, topping another strong offer of 358,000 Euros made by UK’s Queensberry Promotions. The winning offer will have to be split 50/50, being the two men co-challengers after former titlist Agit Kabayel vacated.
Huck (41-5-1, 28 KOs), a two-time European champion, won the continental belt in 2006 and 2008 respectively before moving on to chase world level challenges. The powerful Joyce (10-0, 9 KOs) is coming from a competitive twelve-round victory over Philadelphia’s Bryant Jennings at London’s O2 Arena last July, and will arguably be the stronger, fresher man of the pair.
In other EBU news, England’s Martin Murray (38-5-1, 17 KOs) has been appointed as the new mandatory challenger for freshly-crowned European middleweight champion Matteo Signani (29-5-3, 10 KOs), aged 40. The Italian won the vacant belt last Friday in Trento, Italy, with a debatable twelve-round split-decision over Armenian-born Gevorg Khatchikian (29-3, 14 KOs). The veteran, durable Murray has never fought for the European belt in his twelve years as a prizefighter.