Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Arthur Abraham: He Gave It a Shot

by Cliff Rold

It looked like it’s just about over.

While former IBF Middleweight and WBO Super Middleweight titlist Arthur Abraham (37-4, 28 KO) managed to escape with a victory last Saturday against a very average Willbeforce Shihepo (20-7, 15 KO), he didn’t look good getting there.  At 33 years of age, it’s not certain that Abraham is on the slide.

The appearance of the inevitable is there.

Once removed from the first stoppage loss of his career, in a rematch with Robert Stieglitz, Abraham’s options are fairly limited.  A third fight with Stieglitz is where he has to hang his hat.  The chance to redeem that loss, after winning the first fight and the WBO belt with a decision last year, is his best option.

Sure, it’s just a belt.  Andre Ward remains the champion of the class.  For close to a year between 2012 and 2013, Abraham and Carl Froch were the only significant beltholders in class besides Ward.  Ward had already soundly defeated them both. 

In terms of dollars and cents, that’s not much of an issue for Abraham.  He and Steiglitz did solid business.  They probably would again.  If he gets the rubber match, win or lose, it doesn’t change the premise here much.

The appearance of the inevitable is there.
   
Never a high volume or high-speed guy, Abraham doesn’t get off as suddenly as he used to.  The dramatic power hasn’t left him but the delivery of those bombs is mitigated.

It happens.

But it is interesting to track the slipping of Abraham.  It wasn’t that long ago, just 2009, that he entered the Super Six Super Middleweight tournament as one of the two favorites, along with Mikkel Kessler, to win the whole thing.  

Kessler’s status as favorite lasted one night, Ward emerging at his expense.  Abraham was on track, outboxing and then concussing former Middleweight Champion Jermain Taylor to open the competition strong.

It had to be a sweet victory.  Taylor’s team openly expressed no interest in matching their man with the Armenian puncher when Taylor reigned as the lineal king at 160 lbs.  In retrospect, it might be said that Abraham missed his best chance, never seriously viable for a crack at history’s Middleweight crown despite a ten defense run with the IBF belt from 2005-2009.  He would have had a strong chance to defeat Taylor then, or Kelly Pavlik later. 

After the Taylor win at 168 lbs., it looked like he could seize the chances that eluded him one class lower.  It wasn’t meant to be.  A disqualification loss to Andre Dirrell in the second round was followed by a listless decision defeat to Froch and a gamer, but still lopsided, loss to Ward.

Since the tournament, he’s gone 5-1.  The fighter who excited many fans when he was battling through a broken jaw against a then undefeated Edison Miranda in 2006, who knocked Miranda senseless in their 2008 non-title rematch, who nearly decapitated that tough Khoren Gevor, has been seldom seen.  He always fought economically, behind a high guard, but the knockouts have been less frequent.

In looking like a fighter moving past it against Shihepo, a single thought crossed the mind: at least he tried.

The idea was reinforced on a weekend when Jhonny Gonzalez excellently dispensed the excellent Abner Mares in a single round.  Gonzalez was a dangerous foe going in.  Everyone acknowledged that even while virtually no one gave him much chance to win.  In recent years, it’s become the norm to expect fighters like Mares to take softer touches than a Gonzalez between tough fights. 

Mares didn’t.  He lost for daring to be more than a hopeful brand.  Mares will probably bounce back.

Abraham never really did.  A good fighter at his peak, he ran into a string of better fighters and when it was over his prime was left behind. 

Sometimes, failure can be worth celebrating.  No, not as much as success.  Victory still brings spoils, but it is undeniable that someone has to lose.  Those who risk greatly put themselves more at risk of doing so.

In signing up for the Super Six, Abraham was provided a high-risk path to great success or failure.  It ended up the latter, but in a noble fashion. 

He didn’t pull out of the tournament when adversity struck.  He rode it out to the end.  He met his obligations, took his lumps, and went back to the drawing board.  It isn’t always the case these days.

It’s not as bad as some lament, but it’s ain’t all good either.  Think of some of the other notable names that made their bones just in the German market where Arthur Abraham initially flourished.  For years, it was wondered what would happen if fighters like Sven Ottke or Dariusz Michalczewski tried (or were given the chance to try) to see just how far they could stretch before, as Larry Merchant might have put it, their reach exceeded their grasp.

There was an incomplete element to their runs. 

No one can say the same for Abraham.  He took a path more akin to Heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko, taking on the best around him when it was his time to do so and letting the chips fall.  Klitschko dusted himself off to emerge as the genuine heir to Lennox Lewis, the next great Heavyweight after the last great heavyweight.

Abraham’s fate wasn’t as kind but so what? 

When Abraham finally hangs up his gloves, fans and pundits can feel confident they know as much about him as there was to know.  They know what styles he could handle and couldn’t.  They know how he handled physical adversity (bravely against Miranda) and mental adversity (not as well in the Super Six). 

They know he was a good not great fighter in a time where he could easily have kept feasting on less, racking up a KO count, and cashing checks, and left the sum of it all reading ‘inconclusive.’

He didn’t.

He took a shot at the brass ring and fell short.

The appearance of the inevitable is there.  If appearances are not deceiving, Abraham will exit worthy of the respect of any fight lover.  Everyone can’t win the big ones but there is no reason to expect anything less than the try.

Abraham tried.  

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

Tags: Arthur Abraham image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by sako5 on 08-29-2013

[QUOTE=Spray_resistant;13692910]AA had power and nothing more, he has no notable wins other than against Stieglitz which was questionable and avenged by a tko.[/QUOTE] He suc[B]k[/B]s, he has no notable wins but yet he's Stieglitz' best win in 48 fights ...…

Comment by Ravens Fan on 08-29-2013

When Arthur moved up in weight he also moved up rather drastically in class and it proved one thing. And that was that he was never that good of a fighter.

Comment by hyeduk on 08-28-2013

[QUOTE=royjonesjrKTFO;13692844]More like due to his lack of boxing abilities. All he does is walk forward MAYBE throwing 2-3 punches per round. Canelo outputs more than him and his stamina sucks.[/QUOTE] If he had no abilities then he would not succeed…

Comment by ambuu on 08-28-2013

His skills were/are average at best, his punch output sucked because of his limited skills, BUT (as the article says) even with such flaws at least he took the risk and mixed it up with the best. I remember Felix…

Comment by Spray_resistant on 08-28-2013

AA had power and nothing more, he has no notable wins other than against Stieglitz which was questionable and avenged by a tko.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (18)
Top Headlines Amir Khan Not Ruling Out Conor McGregor Fight in UFC or Boxing Kennedy Katende Ready To Do Damage in Sundsvall, Sweden Abel Sanchez: Ward Will Beat Kovalev, It Won't Be Controversial Errol Spence: 30,000 Fans Rooting For Kell Brook Won't Faze Me Video: Robert Garcia on Mikey, Golovkin-Jacobs, More Marco Huck vs. Mairis Briedis: Torch Songs Video: Abner Mares Discusses His Career, Future Options Golovkin's Coach Reacts To De La Hoya's Position on June Fight Video: Richard Schaefer on Future of Ringstar Prospects, More Leduan Barthelemy Drops, Stops Reynaldo Blanco in Nine Yuriorkis Gamboa vs. Jayson Velez in Play For May 5, Las Vegas Robert Garcia Fears That Age Has Finally Caught Up With Golovkin Golden Boy Prez on Linares' Future, Garcia/Lomachenko Fights Schaefer Agrees With De La Hoya's Position on Golovkin June Fight Photos: Ringstar Sports Prospects, Schaefer, Roach, Garcia Presser Nonito Donaire Meeting with Promoters, Decision Coming Soon Briedis-Huck Now For Full WBC Title, Bellew Made Emeritus Champ Nacho: Chavez Jr. Will Never Be His Father, But He Can Win Petr Petrov Continues To Grind Hard; Antoine Douglas Gets Win Vincent Feigenbutz To Top May 13 Sauerland Card in Karlsruhe Golovkin's Trainer: Spence is Not Ready, Brook Will Beat Him Christopher Diaz, Olympians Return on Top Rank Card, April 21 Muhammad Ali - New Film Getting Developed, To Drop in 2021 Sullivan Barrera vs. Paul Parker Finalized for HBO Latino, April 15 Bellew Admits He Was Terrified, Wrote a Will Before Haye Fight Joseph Parker vs. Hughie Fury Not Likely To Leave Auckland Daniel Dubois vs. David Howe Added To Manchester Card Crawford-Diaz Announced for 5/20 at MSG, Not Prudential Center Kosei Tanaka vs. Angel Acosta Finalized For May 20 in Nagoya Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence - Ticket Information Quigg vs. Simion Could Become Final Eliminator, Says Hearn Cause of Amateur's Death a Mystery as Investigation Continues Warren: Forget Flanagan-Crolla, Let’s Make Flanagan-Linares Amir Khan Eager to Test Out His Surgically Repaired Right Hand Spence's Trainer: Errol is Just as Big, Taller Than Kell Brook Scott Quigg Aims To Reclaim Elite Status With Freddie Roach Paul Butler: Jamie McDonnell Fight Is Close Marcus Morrison: I F***ed Up, Will Be Back Better Andy Lee Tired of "Biased" Commentary During Sky Sports Cards Mikey Garcia Feels Golovkin Made Mistake By Going To PPV
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement