by Johnny Walker
After experiencing both the exhilarating highs and the devastating lows of the boxing game in the past three years, “King” Arthur Abraham made it back to the top of his profession today with a gutsy win over defending champion Robert Stieglitz at the o2 World in Berlin, Germany, to become the new WBO super middleweight champion.
The fight was another tense affair that pitted a power puncher against a volume puncher, with Stieglitz landing more often but to lesser effect compared to Abraham, who in his trademark style fought in flurries, utilizing his high guard and peek-a-boo defensive posture from which he sprang forward while launching some hellacious right hand bombs. Abraham also utilized his left jab to greater effect than he has in recent fights, which helped to create the space he needed to initiate his attacks.
The fighters traded the opening two rounds, with Stieglitz then outboxing Abraham in round three, but in round four, the Armenian who is beloved by German boxing fans began to open up, hurting Stieglitz with some huge shots near the end of the stanza.
From that point on, a resolute Abraham began to bust up the game and determined defending champion with his superior power. The power assault continued until Stieglitz was barely hanging on by round eight. Sensing that his title was slipping away, the champion mounted a comeback in round nine, but was unable to sustain it through the next round, when he was cut over the eye by a hard right hand from the challenger.
Both men slugged it out toe-to-toe in round eleven, with Abraham coming out on top. The man who would be “King” then decided that he had done enough, and took a victory lap in the final round as a battered and desperate Stieglitz tried in vain to land a fight-changing punch.
The judges’ rewarded Abraham’s confidence in them by scoring the fight unanimously in his favor, with scores of 115-113 and 116-112 (twice).
Boxing Insider also had it 116-112 for the new champion Arthur Abraham (35-3, 27 KOs), who has now firmly put himself back into the picture at super middleweight.
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