Former middleweight king Arthur Abraham has found his career in free fall since stepping up in weight for the Showtime’s Super Six contest in 2009 but will hope to have changed his fortunes by finally becoming a 168 lb titlist. The Armenian captured the WBO super middleweight belt form Robert Stieglitz by unanimous decision in a close, enthralling encounter in front of 14,000 fans at the 02 World Arena in Berlin.
Stieglitz’s high volume style was effective in the first three rounds as he successfully threw his punches in combinations before quickly moving out of range of the challenger’s dangerous offence. Not all of the Russian’s punches were connecting but the sheer volume allowed him to take the opening stanzas.
In the fourth the tide turned in Abraham’s favour. Marauding forward behind his tight guard, “King” Arthur was able absorb Stieglitz’s offence before walking down the champion to unleashing his trademark flurries. Unlike his opponent, the challenger’s punches were accurate and hurtful with a right hook inflicting a sever swelling over the Russian’s left eye.
Abraham continued his onslaught till the ninth round where the champion, feeling his grasp of the belt slipping, mounted a spirited comeback by keeping the challenger at bay with a vast number of punches. Stieglitz was unable to carry the momentum into 10th with Abraham opening a cut over his eye, which required the attention of the ring doctor.
The eleventh stanza saw both men go toe-to-toe in an all action round. Neither man was able to find the decisive knockout blow but once more, the telling shots came from the challenger. In the final round Abraham, convinced he had secured victory, did his best to elude Stieglitz while raising his right hand in the air to acknowledge the support of the crowd.
In the end Abraham’s confidence in the twelfth was proven to be justified as two of the judge awarded him the victory by a margin of 116-112, with the third judge seeing it 115-113.