Arthur Abraham is attempting to climb back into the ranks of the elite super middleweights, and Robert Stieglitz is simply looking for respect.
The two men are set to meet on Saturday, August 25 at O2 World Arena in Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany. Both Stieglitz and Abraham call Germany home, but both men were born elsewhere. Stieglitz was born in Russia and Abraham in Armenia.
Because of their current residence, both men should have solid representation in the crowd.
Stieglitz is the current WBO super middleweight champion, but despite holding a token of supremacy at 168 pounds, he still isn't mentioned in the same breath with Andre Ward, Carl Froch or Lucian Bute. Defeating the hard-punching Abraham would definitely be a step in the direction of respect.
Abraham is 34-3 with an impressive 27 KOs, so Stieglitz will certainly have to be wary of Abraham's power. Stieglitz has a noteworthy record to go along with his WBO title.
He's 42-2 with 23 KOs, and he hasn't lost a fight in four years. Because neither of these guys are household names, the fight won't garner a ton of attention in the United States. But this has the makings of a very entertaining bout.
Here is the essential information, some deeper analysis on both fighters and a prediction:
When: Saturday, August 25
Where: O2 World Arena in Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany
The Book on Stieglitz
There is a world of difference between the Stieglitz that was stopped by Librado Andrade in the eighth round in 2008, and the one that has since won 11 straight fights.
The biggest difference is his confidence, as well as his willingness to go on the offensive. Against Andrade he looked tentative, and he didn't display the hand speed that is one of his better attributes.
Take a look at this clip from the Andrade fight:
Stieglitz has certainly improved since then, and that has everything to do with his rise to a title and his current win streak. He throws accurate and solid combinations. He mixes his punches well, alternating his attacks from the head to the body without pattern.
Take a look at a more recent fight with Stieglitz battling Harry Weber:
Stieglitz works behind the jab well, but he also has the dexterity to lead with effective hooks.
One issue I do recognize with Stieglitz is that he has a tendency to stand upright and flat-footed. I notice this especially during exchanges. This could be an issue against a puncher like Abraham.
The Book on Abraham
He is simply one of the most devastating punchers in the sport. He has lights-out, one-punch power. He brings the thunder in either hand, and his power is a game-changer.
That said, Abraham is certainly not the most technically sound boxer. Though he throws his power shots with good leverage, many of them are wide winging shots.
Quite simply, Abraham can be out-boxed, but he is so dangerous he can make fighters gun shy for fear of his powerful counter shots. Abraham is devastating during the exchange.
Take a look at this highlight reel:
Abraham will be looking to stop his opponent, that is nothing new. But will he be able to get to him before absorbing too much punishment himself?
Abraham has been in the ring with better competition, and though Stieglitz is technically more skilled, I don't think he'll be able to fend off Abraham's charge.
I'm taking Abraham by fifth-round KO.
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