by David P. Greisman
Piotr Wilczewski faced a difficult enough task by being a fighter with little power stepping into a ring in Germany against the heavy hands of Arthur Abraham.
And so it came as no surprise when the scorecards showed a wide unanimous decision for Abraham — 118-109, 118-109 and 119-108.
Abraham landed fewer, but he landed harder.
This super-middleweight bout was a contest of contrasts. Wilczewski, who had scored knockouts in just one-third of his 30 wins, would have to rely on activity. Abraham, who had won via knockout in all but six of his victories, would once again pick his spots when he would unleash thudding power punches.
Abraham, typically a slow starter, came out with more aggression, leading with a left hook to the body, then countering Wilczewski with a right hand. Wilczewski soon took the lead in the action, working his punches around Abraham’s high guard. Abraham either sought spots for quick counter shots, or waited for Wilczewski to finish before returning fire with shoeshine volleys.
Abraham targeted Wilczewski’s body throughout the bout, shots that landed audibly and soon left visible marks. Wilczewski kept coming, however, and soon began to press Abraham back to the corner and ropes, where he’d pair body shots on both sides of Abraham, or come upstairs with left hooks, looping rights and the occasional uppercut.
Abraham was never hurt, only paused by his opponent’s offense. And the fight would soon take a noticeable pattern — Wilczewski would control the action for the first half of the round, then Abraham would burst forward again with flurries in the remaining minute or so.
Some of those punches would bounce off Wilczewski’s gloves. Yet Wilczewski did little to truly defend himself, covering up whether he was standing straight or bending forward. Abraham, like Wilczewski, could line punches around the guard of an otherwise stationary foe or could catch Wilczewski’s chin as he pulled straight back.
Abraham, unlike Wilczewski, had power behind those punches. And Abraham’s activity in the second half of the rounds might have been even more memorable for those scoring the bout.
Abraham paired together two good combinations of right hands, followed by left hooks and another right, in the seventh round. What was a 10-9 round for Abraham then became 10-8 when the referee deducted a point from Wilczewski, apparently for spinning around Abraham following a clinch.
Wilczewski narrowly avoided another 10-8 round in the 11th, when an Abraham left hook in the second half of the stanza left him reeling. Wilczewski soon went to the canvas in what was ruled a slip by the referee. After rising, Wilczewski held on to survive the remainder of the round.
One round later, and Abraham was announced the clear winner.
This was Abraham’s second win of 2012 and his second straight victory since exiting Showtime’s “Super Six” super middleweight tournament. He has knocked out Pablo Farias and outpointed Wilczewski, yet still showed many of the tendencies that had him falling behind early against Andre Dirrell and staying behind for the duration against Carl Froch and Andre Ward.
Nevertheless, his unorthodox offense — somehow a combination of wildness and patience — can pose a problem to some fighters. The 32-year-old improves to 34-3 (27 knockouts). Wilczewski, a 33-year-old from Poland, falls to 30-3 (10 knockouts).
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to [email protected]