Robert Stieglitz (43-3, 24 KOs) feels very confident. The 31-year-old super-middleweight will face off with Arthur Abraham (36-3, 28 KOs) in their hotly anticipated rematch on March 23. Stieglitz is hoping to avenge his loss on points back in August of last year when the pair meets up for a second time at the GETEC-Arena in Magdeburg. But according to Stieglitz himself, their next fight will be a whole different story and he will ensure that the WBO Title finds its way back to Magdeburg.
Robert Stieglitz, you lost your WBO Title against Arthur Abraham on August 25. Now you had some time to reflect on the fight. What are your thoughts?
Robert Stieglitz: I’m not the kind of person to look back and dwell on the past - I always have my sight on what lies ahead. Of course, I have mixed feelings when I reflect the happenings of that night. Although I did lose on points and consequently my title, I do believe that it was a great fight in front of a huge crowd at the o2 World in Berlin. The fans were ecstatic - hence, the big interest in the rematch. The important thing to me is that I only borrowed him my title and now I want it back.
Many experts said that Abraham could only beat you by knockout. How surprised were you when he won the fight via unanimous decision?
Robert Stieglitz: First of all, I have to admit that he did better over the whole twelve rounds from a boxing point of view. However, he did not manage to knock me out and improve his KO ratio. Secondly, the cuts I suffered in rounds four and five had a big impact on my performance for the duration of the bout. I wasn’t able to pressurize him as much as I wanted to and make life difficult for him towards the end of the fight. So no, I wasn’t surprised by the result. I was mostly annoyed by my own performance and the cuts.
What kind of mistakes have you made out from your first clash with Abraham? Did you change anything during your preparation this time round?
Robert Stieglitz: You will always have to deal with setbacks. Then it is important to sit down and find out what went wrong. You shouldn’t make the same mistakes twice. My coach Dirk Dzemski and I have been analyzing the fight. But I won’t get into too much detail about what I will do differently this time. Everyone knows, even Arthur himself, that I win fights with my technical ability, agility and work rate.
The rematch with Abraham is just around the corner. How satisfied are you with your progress?
Robert Stieglitz: Everything is going according to plan. I have gotten through a successful operation on my hand and won a buildup fight within three rounds in Barcelona in January. We have also been to training camp in Bavarian Forest during February. We have been running through the snow and added some new elements to my training. My fitness coach Alfred Segerer has come up with a program specified to my needs. Therefore, it is all good.
Would you say that it is easier to prepare for Abraham as you have already stood inside the ring with him?
Robert Stieglitz: Yes, I believe it is, as I now know what Arthur Abraham looks like when he is in good shape. It makes it easier to adjust to his style. Of course, it is the same for him. Although I have to say that he hasn’t seen the best of Robert Stieglitz yet.
The first fight between the two of you took place in Abraham’s hometown of Berlin. Would you say that he had an advantage and do you have the advantage now that the rematch will be held in your own backyard, Magdeburg?
Robert Stieglitz: I don’t think that you can call it an advantage. What matters is that I traveled to Berlin as the world champion and now he is coming to my home as the current champion. He even said himself that he will be entering “The Lion´s Den“. That takes a lot of courage and we both have given us credit for that. I believe that the atmosphere will be even more electrifying in Magdeburg than it was in Berlin. We will see how he handles that.
How important is this fight for the future of your career? Is it an all or nothing situation for you as well as for Abraham?
Robert Stieglitz: Both of us have been asked this question before our first fight and now everybody is excited about the rematch. There is no point in discussing if this is all or nothing for us. We should be happy about the fact that Germany currently has two world-class super-middleweights who will fight it out for a world championship. Both of us have the ability to get back to the top even if we should lose.
What is your prediction for March 23?
Robert Stieglitz: The winner and world champion will be Robert Stieglitz. I will take the borrowed WBO Title back to the city of Magdeburg, back to my promoter SES.
What happens if you should actually win? Will we witness Abraham vs. Stieglitz III or are you aiming for a unification bout against the winner of Kessler vs. Froch II?
Robert Stieglitz: I don’t believe that it would be appropriate to discuss the future at this point of time. That is a topic for after March 23.
Tickets for the big fight night at the GETEC-Arena in Magdeburg, Germany can be purchased at www.eventim.de .