Robert Stieglitz punching toward opportunity?
Andre Ward (25-0, 13 KO) is still without an opponent to defend his WBC and WBA super middleweight world titles against for his proposed June 2 return in his hometown of Oakland, California.
Thanks to George Groves (14-0, 11 KO) getting injured again, WBO champ Robert Stieglitz (41-2, 23 KO) is also without an opponent for his May 5 fight in his home country of Germany.
Oh whatever could they do? How about fight each other?
Arthur Abraham (34-3, 27 KO) is Stieglitz's mandatory for his title and Anthony Dirrell (24-0, 21 KO) is Ward's mandatory for his WBC title. The organizational bodies will give them a pass for the right fight.
Ward vs. Stieglitz could bring money no matter whose hometown it's in, so that's a good enough reason to not strip either champion. The only snag at this point is whose hometown and whose date should be chosen?
Well for an event as big a world title unification, it would most likely need the latest date of the two in order to allow time for extra hyping.
As far as whose hometown it should be in, Stieglitz is not as big a ticket-seller in Germany as Ward is in Oakland.
Stieglitz, even with his world championship, had to be on the undercard of a championship-less Abraham who headlined a card in a sold-out 4,000-seat venue Germany this past January.
Is Ward vs Stieglitz a good idea?
Before Mikkel Kessler (44-2, 33 KO) pulled out with an injury, Stieglitz was set to defend his world title against him in Kessler's homeland of Denmark.
Ward averaged 9,000 in ticket sales during his previous fights in Oakland, including one against a visiting Kessler.
The winner of the date and venue battle is already decided before it's begun. The only question is who will pick up the fight.
Both HBO and Showtime haven't shown interest in buying Kessler vs. Stieglitz or IBF titlist Lucian Bute (30-0, 24 KO) vs. former WBC champ Carl Froch (28-2, 20 KO), so neither is likely to bite.
The channel scooped up a May 26 Bute-Froch showdown and would love to show another super middleweight fight the week after that, similar to their trilogy of heavyweight fights earlier in the year.
Ward has faced some tough competition these past few years and Stieglitz, while not being the easiest opponent, would definitely be a break from the rigorous test of Kessler and Froch.
Stieglitz would get the chance to finally prove he's bigger than just another European world champ that's afraid to leave the coop.
So Ward-Stieglitz on June 2 in Oakland, California sounds like a sound plan to me. Wait, this is boxing so it probably won't happen. It's good to dream though.