King Arthur topples Stieglitz for WBO Crown
Germany's top two rated super-middleweight boxers clashed on Saturday night in a hugely entertaining WBO world title bout at the O2 Arena in Berlin.
Local hero "King" Arthur Abraham (35-3) cruised to a unanimous decision victory to de-throne Robert Stieglitz (42-3) and become a two-weight world champion.
Make no mistake, this was a close fought contest that could quite easily have been given the other way. Stieglitz gave a very good account of himself and was by far the busier of the two sluggers throughout.
Abraham may not have thrown as many punches but when he did they were selected well and had plenty of power behind them, rocking Stieglitz on a few occasions and landing his jab all too easily through Stieglitz' weak guard. That was the difference between the two on the night.
Abraham never looked in any serious trouble and after the champion had unleashed a barrage of blows to the challenger in round 5, he laughed them off with hands down and if to say "is that all you've got"?
He taunted Stieglitz again near the end of the bout but one could be forgiven for thinking he was buying himself a bit of precious recovery time. Abraham was puffing heavily by the end of round 10 and Stieglitz dug deep to up his work rate and finish off the final two rounds in good form.
By the end of the 12th Stieglitz looked physically battered. His left eye had almost closed and a nasty cut bulged over his right. "I made many mistakes today and from the seventh round found it difficult to see out of my right eye. Nevertheless, I kept boxing but it was not to be." bemoaned Stieglitz.
Abraham, as usual, didn't get too busy but boxed clever and did just enough to earn the favour of all three judges. Two of the officials scored the bout 116-112 while the third made it slightly closer and possibly more accurate with 115-113.
"This is a very emotional moment for me which is difficult to describe," said Abraham who was close to tears immediately after the fight. "I have trained hard, have focused on this opportunity and boxed clever - that's the secret of my victory."
It's already rumoured that long reigning WBA middleweight super-champion Felix Sturm will move up a division and be the first to challenge Abraham for his new title. Sturm must first deal with IBF belt holder Daniel Geale in a mouthwatering unification bout in Oberhausen next weekend.