Mon, Aug 27, 2012 - Page 20 News List

Abraham crowned new world champ

TRANSFER OF POWER:At the end of the fight, Germany’s Robert Stieglitz was well beaten, with heavy bruising and cuts around his eyes, while his compatriot was unmarked

AFP, BERLIN

German boxer Robert Stieglitz, left, tries to defend against a punch by German-Armenian challenger Arthur Abraham at the O2 World arena in Berlin, Germany, on Saturday.

Photo: EPA

Germany’s Arthur Abraham is the new world WBO super middleweight champion after his unanimous win over compatriot Robert Stieglitz on Saturday.

Abraham, 32, who defended his IBF middleweight title 10 times between 2005 and 2009, is now the world champion at the heavier weight after the judges scored the fight 116-112, 116-112, 115-113.

“This is an emotional moment for me and it’s hard to describe how I feel,” Abraham said. “I always wanted to be the middleweight world champion and now I am the super middleweight champion too. I trained hard for this and I had to box cleverly against such a good champion.”

Having held the title for three years, Stieglitz was well beaten, with heavy bruising and cuts around both eyes at the end of the punishing title bout, while Abraham was left relatively unmarked.

Abraham lived up to his “King Arthur” moniker and the new champion now has a record of 27 knock-outs in 35 wins and three defeats.

Having labored to a points win over Piotr Wilczewski to defend his European WBO title in March, Abraham was back to the best fighting for the world title.

Abraham started the stronger of the pair, but the champion twice pinned the challenger to the ropes in the second and started to exert his authority. Stieglitz raised the tempo in the third and Abraham fell clearly behind on points going into the fourth, but responded with some body-head combinations and one sharp hook left Stieglitz with swelling above his left eye.

By the fifth, Stieglitz’s face was marking noticeably, while Abraham started to let his guard drop to lure the champion as he landed some punishing shots.

Stieglitz put together some good combinations in the seventh round and kept up his impressive work-rate, despite a cut above his right eye needing the attention of the ring doctor in the 10th.

Abraham raised his fists to the Berlin crowd in early celebration before the start of the 12th round and finished clearly ahead on points as Stieglitz, 31, suffered the third defeat of his career in his 45th fight.

Germany’s WBA super-middleweight and IBF middleweight title-holder Felix Sturm, who fights on Saturday against Australia’s Daniel Geale, has said he would fight the winner of the bout.

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