By Jake Donovan
Early in his career, Arthur Abraham was kept active while being fast-tracked to his first major title.
It’s only fitting that a career-resurrecting win has the two-division titlist returning to his roots.
A two-month turnaround is in store for Abraham who will face Nikola Sjekloca on May 3, just two months following his super middleweight title-regaining effort over Robert Stieglitz earlier this month.
Having regained his WBO Super Middleweight crown from Robert Stieglitz, ‘’King’’ Arthur Abraham (39-4, 28 KOs) will make his first title defense against Nikola Sjekloca (26-1, 8 KOs) on May 3rd at the Velodrom in Berlin, Germany.
“Finally, I have the WBO belt back around my waist and I don’t plan on giving it up anytime soon,’’ said Abraham (39-4, 28KO), who reclaimed his super middleweight belt with a split decision win over Stieglitz to go 2-1 in their series. “I gave so much blood, sweat and tears for my last fight – and it made me a world champion again. I will need to do the same to prepare for Sjekloca on May 3rd.’’
The defense versus Sjekloca (26-1, 8KO) will take place at The Velodrom in Berlin, Abraham’s adopted hometown and where he claimed a title win over Stieglitz in their first fight back in Aug. ’12. It was the last time he fought in front of his hometown fans, having suffered a TKO loss to Stieglitz in his rival’s Magdeburg hometown before breaking the tie in March.
Abraham rides a three-fight win streak heading into the first defense of his second super middleweight title reign, and third title tour overall, having previously served as a long-reigning middleweight champ.
Back in the championship picture, Abraham and his team don’t plan to rest on its laurels, or take any opponent for granted. While the fight was just announced on Tuesday, his camp has already done their homework on the upcoming challenger.
“Sjekloca, has a good jab and tries to be very active,” notes veteran trainer Uli Wegner. “In his fight against Sakio Bika he also showed that he can take a punch, so Arthur cannot rely only on his power. If Arthur is able to put in another performance like he did against Stieglitz, he will prove that he is one of the best super middleweights in the world.
“He has clearly shown me that he is still ready to progress as a boxer.’’
Abraham agreeing to put just nine weeks between fights – his quickest ring turnaround since 2004, his second year as a pro – comes at the right time. Lineal cruiserweight king Yoan Pablo Hernandez and cruiserweight titlist Marco Huck were both slated to fight in March, only for both separately scheduled fights to fall through.
“Following these recent developments, it was important for us to stage this world championship fight in Berlin,’’ said Chris Meyer, Managing Director of Sauerland Event. ‘’As the saying goes: the third time’s a charm.’’
Tickets for the WBO World Championship fight at the Velodrom in Berlin on May 3rd go on sale today (Tuesday, March 18) and are available via eventim.de .
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox