By Johnny Walker
WBO Inter-Continental super middleweight champion “King” Arthur Abraham (38-4, 28 KOs) labored to a lopsided win today, shutting down Italian Giovanni De Carolis (20-5, 10 KOs) of Italy in a match held at the EWE-Arena in Oldenburg, Germany.
In a bout that was supposed to set up a third fight with WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz (who destroyed Abraham last time out after losing their first meeting on points), Abraham was often visibly frustrated with the hit and run tactics of his opponent, tactics which did not warm the hearts of the ringside judges, who gave Abraham a virtual shutout win with scores of 120-108 and 119-109 twice.
To be fair, De Carolis’s pot-shotting style yielded some mild success early, but as he began to tire, Abraham was able to load up with enough power shots and a very effective left jab to take control of the fight.
A round-by-round recap here would be redundant, as the fight lacked much in the way of standout highlights. Abraham, as is usually the case in his fights, was by far the heavier puncher, and in round eight he landed a hard left hook that did stun the Italian momentarily. But that was about as dramatic as the fight got, with Abraham often tiring of chasing his opponent around the ring, merely standing there with a look of disgust and beckoning him to come and fight.
When De Carolis did try and launch a flurry, more often than not his shots ended up bouncing off of Abraham’s trademark turtle-shell defense. As the final bell sounded, Abraham landed a hard right hand and then threw up his arms in despair at his opponent’s evasive tactics.
The conventional wisdom was that Abraham had to look good today to set up the trilogy fight with Stieglitz, who last week cruised to a win over Isaac Ekpo of Nigeria. If looking good means winning by a wide margin, Abraham did the job, but this was not the fearsome King Arthur of old, a man who would have likely found a way to cut off the ring and leave De Carolis looking woozily up from the mat long before the final bell.
It remains to be seen if that version of Arthur Abraham is just in hiding or gone for good. A third fight with Stieglitz should give us the answer.