By Per Ake Persson, at ringside
Wetzlar, Germany - IBF middleweight champ Arthur Abraham retained the title with a unanimous decision over Colombian Edison Miranda. It was scored 114-09, 116-109 and 115-109.
There were no knockdowns but the champion suffered a broken jaw in the fourth round and bad bleeding began where it was broken. Abraham had up until then had the fight under control and wobbled the challenger in the fourth. Miranda recovered though, but
showed a bad temper as he delibarately headbutted the champion in the fifth and a timeout was called by American referee Randy Neumann. And now the controversy began - Abraham was unhurt from the headbutt, but badly hurt from the legitimate punch that had caused the broken jaw - of course no one knew for sure what was wrong with Abraham at this stage, but he was bleeding badly from the mouth and could barely
close it. After a long discussion where it at some point looked like it would be stopped the fight began again with Abraham closing the round strongly.
Neumann deducted two points from Miranda for the headbutt.
The fight developed into a desperate struggle for Abraham who spat out blood all over the place and his jaw clearly had parted ways by now. He looked like he was in strong pain. Miranda kept attacking, but had a bad swelling by the left eye and he had problems connecting. Neumann deducted points again - first one point then another in the seventh for low blows. In Miranda´s corner they were furios and Arthur´s younger
brother Alexander kept jumping up and down at ringside trying to get Arthur to fight on.
There was a lengthy timeout for another low blow from Miranda in the eleventh and the by now dead tired champion got a long rest and Miranda had his fifth point deducted.
Miranda was careless with his punches, but if he really deserved to have three points deducted for them is a good question. Edison made a strong finish, but should have been able to stop his opponent. Instead he kept going for the big punches and failed to set them up - Abraham, the better boxer of the two, was at times able to counter well.
All in all, quite a fight. "I have never seen anything like it" said every ringsider I talked to. The IBF have to order an immediate rematch but it´s likely that it will be at least six months before Abraham can fight again. Miranda´s handlers were furious to say
the least about how the fight had been handled and an official protest is likely come. Miranda did show bad discipline in a fight he should have been able to win
considering the shape of the champion after the fourth.
Cruiser Marco Huck stopped Frenchman Rachid El Hadak in the co-feature. El Hadak was down in the sixth, seventh and three times in the eighth and final round.
Russian heavy Alexander Povetkin impressed again in stopping American Ed Mahone in the fifth.
Ukrainian Vitaly Tsypko scored a good win in knocking out Croatian Stepjan Bozic in the second.
Ex-EBU middle champ Sebastian Sylvester overcame a knockdown to outscore Frenchman Frank Mezaache over twelve to win the vacant WBA I/C title. It was scored
115-113, 115-13 and 115-112. It was Sylvester´s fight until the sixth when he was floored. After that it went back and forth with both having their moments.
Christophe Canclaux won the vacant EU 154 lb title on scores of 120-108, 120-108 and 117-111 over Youkri Chentour, who kept coming in every round but was outboxed.
Norwegians Nikita Dubunin and Andreas Evensen both won in good learning fights. Dubunin, at jr middle, outscored Marzen Gierke over six while Evensen, at jr light, did the same to Miloud Saadi over four.
Cuban cruiser Yoan Pablo Hernandez outscored Jean Claude Bikoi over eight. Bikoi was out on his feet on several occasions but Yoan was stunned himself and even floored although it was ruled a slip.
Polish jr middle Damien Jonak outpointed Joszef Kubovski over four.
All in all a great evening of boxing - that went on for about eight hours. And yes, one can have too much of a good thing.