Expect an outbreak of civil war in Germany this Saturday† (August 25th) when Magdeburg windmill Robert Stieglitz defends his WBO World super-middleweight title for a seventh time against home city hard case Arthur Abraham at the O2 World Arena, Berlin.
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Who better to analyse the Teutonic tear-up than British and Commonwealth super-middleweight czar George Groves, who was pitched to face Stieglitz in May but had to bale out due to nose damage.
Presently ranked third by the WBO, ĎThe Saintí can expect to do battle with Saturdayís victor in the near future.
George says: ďThis is a really interesting fight.† Abraham is the bookies favourite and he has an advantage in top grade experience plus heíll be fighting in his home city. Even though heís come up from middleweight (and Stieglitz was a former IBF Youth champion at light-heavyweight) Iíd expect that Abraham will also have the edge in strength and power.
Heís a very hard man whoís won fights when his own jaw has been broken and heís knocked several out with one punch. I donít think heís fazed by anything or anyone. Heís one of those types you want to keep relatively tame, if you can. You donít really want to ignite the beast by hitting him too hard or upsetting him! If things arenít going his way, he has this capacity to just flick a switch within him and spring into life. You can never get complacent against him.
But while he was certainly a formidable force down at 160(lbs), heís been a little bit Ďhit and missí up at supermiddle. He started the Super Six (tournament) really positively by wiping out Jermain Taylor but he got very frustrated against Andre Dirrell Ė who wouldnít? Ė and was comprehensively outboxed by Carl Froch. Carls a great fighter but he doesnít tend to outbox too many.
Iíve studied Stieglitz quite a bit because obviously I was due to fight him last May. Heís a great athlete and a really good ambassador for our sport. Heís a very good operator, a typical German type; a well schooled all rounder with an exceptionally high work rate but no really special qualities.
His biggest attribute would have to be the volume of punches that he can throw, round after round. He doesnít throw three punch combinations, he throws ten punch combinations and if two or three get through, heíll be happy that he won that exchange. Itís a tactic he repeats and repeats. No one will ever outwork him.
Robert isnít the heaviest puncher; particularly in comparison to Abraham, but heís more versatile. He can change angles and mix it up better; keeps the opponent guessing. Youíd always have to be switched on if you were facing him.
Though heís been WBO champion for quite a while now, the really big fights havenít come his way so far so Iíd imagine his motivation shall be high and heíll be really up for this.
Itís an intriguing blend of styles. Because Stieglitz throws so many, heís susceptible to leaving more gaps and thatís not especially good when youíre fighting someone who can dig as hard as Arthur Abraham.
A lot might depend on how much Abraham is still prepared to put himself through after all the wars, at this relatively late stage of his career. Itís been a little while since he looked really impressive. Fighting in his home city should provide all the inspiration he needs.
Abraham possesses an extremely tight guard and tucks up well which can be extremely demoralizing for some opponents but I donít think itíll dissuade Stieglitz whoís pretty persistent. Abraham needs to explode off that tight defence and set a high tempo to prevent Stieglitz running away with the fight. Arthur canít afford to be lazy which is a criticism thatís been levelled against him several times in the past.
Itís a really hard one to predict and the fight could go a number of ways. But I believe that Stieglitz has the tools to pull off an upset here, even in Berlin. No one stops Arthur Abraham but Stieglitz might be able to stop him from getting started, overwhelm him with his barrages. For me, itís Stieglitz on points.Ē
Tags: Robert Stieglitz , George Groves , Arthur Abraham , Abraham-Stieglitz , Abraham vs Stieglitz