By Dereck Bilton
When Arthur Abraham flattened Jermain Taylor at the O2 World Arena in 2009 he looked like breaking through as a legitimate world superstar.
Then 30-0, the Berlin-based Armenian was drawing huge crowds and a favourite with plenty in boxing to go on and lift the Super Six.
However, three defeats in four subsequent outings saw his star fade so 'King Arthur' tries to kick-start his career this weekend when he challenges Robert Stieglitz for the WBO super-middleweight title.
As a middleweight Abraham was a straight-up killer, defending his prized IBF crown in impressive fashion time and time again with a series of devastating stoppage wins.
But it's no secret he has struggled up at 168 and should he blow this opportunity against Stieglitz then he can wave goodbye to the big paydays and glory nights, perhaps forever.
That's the bad news. The good news for Abraham fans is the fact that Stieglitz is a capable but beatable operator who has compiled a 42-2 (23) record by beating largely B-list opposition.
There are no standout names on his resume and the two times he has stepped up against punchers, he has failed to hear the final bell.
In 2007 Alejandro Berrio stopped him in three shocking rounds in an IBF super-middleweight title tilt. And in 2008 Librado Andrade bludgeoned him to defeat inside eight sessions in California.
Stieglitz has made six defences of his WBO crown but this definitely represents a step up in class for the 31-year-old, who was born in Russia but who now lives and trains out of Magdeburg.
Abraham should have the lion's share of support - the fight is in Berlin, his adopted hometown - and if he brings his A-Game I expect him to win this.
He wings away all night with clubbing shots and while not particularly pleasing on the eye it is effective. He has been found out against truly world class operators (Carl Froch in particular schooled him memorably a few years ago) but his opponent on Saturday is not the real deal.
I've seen Stieglitz before and although a neat boxer, he does have a tendency to fold under pressure. Pressure is one thing Abraham is nailed on to bring and I think the 5/2 about 'King Arthur' getting this done inside the distance is plenty tempting.
Tags: Robert Stieglitz , Arthur Abraham , Abraham-Stieglitz , Abraham vs Stieglitz