By Alexey Sukachev
Baden-Arena, Offenburg, Germany - Arthur Abraham (33-3, 27KOs) stopped Pablo Farias (19-2, 11KOs) in the fifth round to capture the vacant WBO European super middleweight title. Abraham started slow but eventually he started to let his hands go and let the bombs fly in the fifth as he found his range. A combination to the head and body put Farias down early in the fifth. A moment later a second knockdown came, and then a barrage of punches put Farias down for a third and final time as the referee waved it off.
There were numerous questions regarding Abraham's skills and, most importantly, his confidence after three losses in his last four fights against the cream of the 168-pound crop. Against Argentinean challenger Farias he answered them partially. Some questions, however, are still intact despite a crowd-pleasing TKO win over little-known Latino opponent in a comeback fight.
We were promised that Abraham, who was once a feared killer-puncher in his middleweight days, would be a different person, and not the straightforward aggressor he once was before and during his Super Six days. Those hopes were shown to be too optimistic in the opening round, when Abraham covered himself behind his trademark shell and exploded only in rare bursts. Farias, sensing the danger, circled the German-Armenian and bothered him with his lengthy jab. Both fighters landed nothing serious in the opening round.
Both did relatively better in the next round. Abraham delivered an interesting combination on the ropes but he was backed up by Farias on occasions. The Argentinean landed his share of body blows but the former champion was slightly better. Abraham was way better in the third. On the other hand, he landed some deadly combinations and forced Farias to retreat throughout the entire round. Abraham pressed the action but he was a bit rusty at the same time, failing to find his distance to trouble Farias and to shake him with a real force. In the fourth round Abraham, 31, took a pause and gave Farias a chance to showcase himself a bit, which was done. The round could have been scored in favor of the Argentinean fighter.
Jokes were put aside by Abraham in the fifth and final round. Soon after the start, he landed a series of punches at the ropes with a specific accent on body blows, and Farias went down. Soon thereafter the Argentinean, who had beaten the count, ate a monstrous right shot to the head, staggered a bit and was floored with a right to the head for the second time. The end came at 2:00 of the stanza, after a painful left hook to the liver put Farias down for the third and final time.