This Saturday, Epix will be presenting a rematch of the WBO Super Middleweight Championship fight from August of last year between Arthur Abraham and Robert Stieglitz. This was a fight that went the distance and was won by Abraham by unanimous decision to win the belt from Stieglitz in what could be considered a neutral court since both fighters currently reside in Germany. The fight was literally in Abraham’s backyard in the O2 Word arena in Berlin, the same city that Abraham resides in. The rematch will also be in Germany, the difference is it will be taking place in the GETEC Arena in Sachsen-Anhalt which is the same city that Stieglitz resides in.
Arthur Abraham (36-3 with 28 KOs) is a solid fighter that hits hard and will always make his opponent work to win a fight. He has one other world title in his resume as he won the IBF title in the Middleweight division against Kingsley Ikeke in December of 2005. Two of the best wins of his career were against Jermain Taylor in 2009 and the one against Stieglitz last year. He is 33 years old and may not have too many more years left in him. So he much take advantage of currently having a belt and try to make the most of his currently opportunities.
Robert Stieglitz (43-3 with 24 KOs) was the WBO Super Middleweight champion from August 2009 until Abraham beat him last year. The biggest knock on him is his level of competition. His best win was when he originally won the title against Karoly Balzsay. A fight in which Stieglitz battered Balzsay for 11 rounds until his corner called for help and Balzsay was rushed to the hospital. Stieglitz also rarely fights outside of Europe. Only 4 of his 47 fights took place outside of Germany, including his lost to Librado Andrade in 2008. He needs a win to validate his years as champion when most people felt he held the belt hostage.
During the 1st fight, Stieglitz fought either even or better than Abraham for the 1st 2 mins of pretty much every round. The problem was Abraham always dominated the last mins of all of those rounds. A lot of people don’t like giving fighters that only fight 1 min per round, but the effectiveness of Abraham was enough that you had to give him most of them; which resulted in a 8 rounds to 4 on 2 of the judge’s cards and 7-5 on the other card. I think Abraham will employ a similar strategy and hope to “look good” in front of the judges at the end of rounds to leave a lasting memory. I would think it would behoove Abraham to get a knockdown or win by TKO because I can easily see the judges going the other way to setup a part 3. Because of that I’m going with Stieglitz to win by unanimous decision, and we’ll see part 3 either at the end of this year or early next year.
One of the interesting undercards on this fight will be undefeated heavyweight, Robert Helenius (18-0 with 11 KOs) squaring off against UK veteran Michael Sprott (37-19 with 17 KOs). Helenius, who is already a top 10 heavyweight, hopes to move up the rankings of the division. His best win was a fight he won by controversial split decision, a fight I actually had him losing, against Derek Chisora. A win here could set him up for a fight against anyone in the top 10 not named Klitschko. Should be an interesting card in Germany and you can look at it as the appetizer before the big meal that is Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado next week. Enjoy the fights.