Former world middleweight champion Arthur Abraham is expecting a tough battle with Robert Stieglitz on August 25, when the Armenian-born German challenges for a version of the 168lb title for the third time in his career.
The 32 year-old, who out-pointed Piotr Wilczewski in March to earn the title shot, has successfully rebuilt his career following defeats to Carl Froch and eventually winner Andre Ward in the Super-Six tournament and is focused of taking Steiglitz’s title in Berlin next month.
“It’s going to be a tough fight for both of us and I hope to be the one standing tall afterwards,” Abraham told World Boxing News.
“I hope that as many fans as possible will be present at O2 World Berlin on August 25. You don’t want to miss my big fight against Stieglitz and afterwards we can celebrate together.”
Briton George Groves was removed as mandatory challenger to Stieglitz after suffering an injury in the build-up to the fight and Abraham is unsure about defending against the British champion if successful against his compatriot.
“I don’t know why (they decided to remove him as mandatory). It’s something you might ask my promoter or the officials from the WBO,” said Abraham.
When asked if there was ever a chance that he and Groves could have fought an eliminator, Abraham said that was never a possibility, but the seasoned champion will think about offering the ‘Saint’ a shot at the title in the future.
“I don’t think about that (fighting Groves) at the very moment. My full focus is on Stieglitz. When I beat him, I will think about my next fight and Groves could be a possibility.
“Of course (there are other super-middleweights I want to fight), but I won’t tell you before I am going to face them.”
Asked about the chance to avenge his defeats to IBF champion Froch and WBC/WBA belt holder Ward, Abraham admitted that the losses still hurt and unification rematches are at the forefront of his mind.
“That’s a dream of mine – to redeem myself,” added Abraham.
Phil D. Jay covers boxing for worldboxingnews.net