By Alexey Sukachev
Anhalt Arena in Dessau, Germany ---------- WBO #3 and WBA #4 rated light heavyweight Robin Krasniqi (42-4, 16 KOs) continued his winning streak with a hard-fought unanimous decision over rugged WBA #5 and WBO #15 Ukrainian Olexander Chervyak (14-4-1, 4 KOs) in a heated twelve-rounder.
The German fighter boxed mostly from the distance but also used some impressive combinations inside. Chervyak was aggressive and consistent in his pressure but showed his limited skills and was outboxed in later rounds. Final scores were: 117-111 (twice) and 119-110 - for Robin Krasniqi.
What started as a possible major upset ended in an unsatisfactory stoppage for everyone involved, as WBO #3 and IBF #13 former long-time / two-time super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz (47-4, 27 KOs) was awarded a very controversial stoppage against determined Belarussian veteran Sergey Khomitskiy in an important contest for a vacant WBO I/C super middleweight title. The final outcome would have been ruled illegal in a number of cases, had the fight taken place abroad.
Stieglitz, 33, was fighting for the first time since his March loss to Arthur Abraham, while WBO #7 Khomitskiy (now 29-11-2, 12 KOs) was coming off a minor shocker earlier this year when he stopped previously undefeated Brit Frank Buglioni (12-0) for the WBO European title. And the Belarussian started the fight as if he was still fighting Buglioni. Khomitskiy stalked Stieglitz, rocked him and landed a number of telling blows in the opening round. Stieglitz did better in the second, and the the fight became virtually even with maybe a slight advantage in favour of Stieglitz, a slightly better fighter.
However, Stieglitz was moving mostly backwards while Khomitskiy pressed the action. The German fighter was hurt by a left hook of the Belarussian in the eighth, while Khomitskiy himself was never rocked at any moment at all.
Both fighters were cut - Stieglitz over his right eye, and Khomitskiy over his skull after an accidental headbutt. The real problem for Khomitskiy was that he had major problems with the tapes on his gloves. He was twice ordered for re-taping by the referee, and his cornerman Valery Kaplia worked really long both times. However, it came as an absolute shocker when the referee waved the fight off at the end of the ten after another visit to the corner based on how long Kaplia was taking in putting on the tape.
The end, while probably was legal to some degree, was very controversial by its nature. Adding more heat was the fact that not only was Stieglitz dazed in the ninth but he also went down, and that wasn't ruled a knockdown by the referee who did a very poor job today. BoxingScene had it 86-85 - for Stieglitz before the stoppage.
23-year old Christina Hammer (18-0, 8 KOs) moved one division to the south and acquired a vacant WBO light middleweight title after her opponent - French kayo terror Ann Sophie Mathis - was DQ'ed in the fourth round of scheduled ten.
Hammer had previously held WBO and WBF titles in the middleweight division for almost four years and defended them short of ten times. Mathis, ex-WBC/WBA light welterweight champion, is best known for her two-fight rivalry with American Holly Holm and her loss to Cecilia Braekhus in 2011-2012. She is now 27-4, with 23 KOs.
In a minor upset, Germany-based Russian Moritz Stahl (aka Islam Suleymanov) suffered his first career loss, being knocked out in the fifth by little-known Georgian Guram Nastulishvili, who is now 8-1, with 6 KOs. Natsulishvili acquired the WBO Youth I/C super middleweight belt in this fight.