Trilogies are almost always good for boxing. The third meeting between WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz (46-3, 26 KOs) and "King" Arthur Abraham (38-4, 28 KOs) should add a nice addition to the sport's history of rivalries—and determine which of the two is the better fighter.
On Saturday night at GETEC Arena in Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, Stieglitz will be trying to retain his title and make it two wins in a row over Abraham.
After losing a unanimous decision and his title in the first meeting with Abraham back in Aug. 2012, Stieglitz got his revenge and regained his title by stopping the Armenian-born slugger in the fourth round in March 2013.
Taking the rubber match of the rivalry and the WBO title makes this a high-stakes fight. Here's how you can watch this bout.
When: Saturday, March 1 at 2 p.m. ET
Where: GETEC Arena, Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
TV: Box Nation and SAT1
Live Stream: LiveSport
The Book on Stieglitz
Despite holding the WBO crown for all but seven months of the last four-and-a-half years, Stieglitz is not well known outside of the hardcore boxing circle.
Part of the reason for that is because he didn't compete in the Super Six super middleweight tournament from 2009 to 2011. Most of the six—and ultimately eight—men did gain increased notoriety from the experience.
Also, Stieglitz has only fought outside of Germany once since 2008.
Allan Fox of BoxingNews24 contends that Stieglitz wouldn't be the champion if he had been forced to fight more formidable opponents over his career.
He says weak opposition for both men has facilitated this trilogy.
The two German based fighters have worked it out to where they’ve been able to keep facing each other with repeated rematches by taking [on] weak opponents in between their fights. Stieglitz would have lost his WBO title long ago had he been forced to fight his No.1 challenger George Groves instead of the little known challengers Yuzo Kiyota and Isaac Ekpo.
There could be some truth to that assumption. Groves and the others look like talents who would give Stieglitz issues, but we haven't seen him tested on that level yet.
After looking tentative at times in the first bout, Stieglitz looked aggressive and confident en route to the stoppage win in March. Since that bout, Stieglitz has won two fights in a row. In the video below, he talks about being prepared for a newly motivated Abraham.
There is talk (per Osiris Mendez Cruz of BoxingScene) that the winner of this bout might be matched with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.—should he defeat Bryan Vera on Saturday in San Antonio.
Is it finally time for Stieglitz to step up his level of competition? First, though, he must take care of Abraham again.
The Book on Abraham
King Arthur is known for his exceptional punching power. That trait is likely what caused Stieglitz to fight cautiously in their first fight.
Abraham looked a bit surprised by how aggressive Stieglitz was in the rematch. He never seemed to get a rhythm. Before he knew what hit him, the fight was stopped by the ringside physician.
Abraham did participate in the Super Six tournament, but he was outclassed by every opponent he faced, with the exception of Jermain Taylor, whom he stopped in the final round.
Stieglitz's speed and endurance could give him issues again in the third fight, but don't expect King Arthur to be caught off guard again.
This one should be action-packed from the beginning.
Stieglitz will trade enough to sustain his respect early, but expect to see him outbox Abraham for most of the early-to-mid rounds.
He knows Abraham will be on guard and looking to crack early. To keep him off balance, Stieglitz will use his length to keep a distance, but he'll take his shots when they are available.
I'm not expecting to see another early stoppage, but in many ways, this win might be as impressive—if not more—than the last.
Stieglitz will win by a lopsided unanimous decision.
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