Robert Stieglitz (46-4, 26 KO) will start his climb back up the ranks of super middleweights on Saturday in the hopes of regaining another piece of the world title at 168 pounds.
He will face 39-year-old Ukrainian Sergey "The Ghost" Khomitsky (29-10-2, 12 KO) in a bout that looks like a completely one-sided deal. In Stieglitz's last bout, he lost a split decision to rival Arthur Abraham. It was the third time the two had met and the second time Abraham had bested Stieglitz by decision.
Abraham also won their first meeting back in 2012. Though Abraham owns the edge in the series, Stieglitz scored the only decisive win with his fourth-round TKO victory.
It seems like a fourth fight between the two could happen at some point. For now, Stieglitz looks set to beat up on an over-the-hill opponent. Despite Khomitsky's age and modest record, Stieglitz insists his opponent shouldn't be dismissed. At the final press conference for the bout, he talked about his potentially dangerous opponent, per FightNews.com:
I am forewarned. A ghost always comes surprisingly and unexpectedly. I’ve prepared myself for [his] fighting style, so I’m safe. He can’t scare me. Khomitsky is good for surprises, well rested and he boxes smart. His victory for the WBO European championship against Buglioni in England was no coincidence. One may never, ever underestimate him. He is a daredevil! If I want to get “my belt” back, then the only possible way is with a clear victory over this “ghost!
Here's how you can watch the fight.
When: Saturday at 3.15 p.m. ET, 10.15 p.m. local time
Where: Dessau, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
TV: SAT1 in Germany
The Book on Stieglitz
Stieglitz is either one of the most slept on or overly protected fighters in the last 10 years. In either case, not many outside of his native Germany know who he is or what he has accomplished in boxing.
He is a two-time world champion. He first won the title in 2009 with a win over Karoly Balzsay. Stieglitz held the title until his first meeting with Abraham in 2012.
When he defeated Abraham in the rematch, he took back the championship and held it before losing it again to the Armenian in March in their third encounter. From afar, it sounds like a noteworthy run for Stieglitz over the last five years, but a closer examination shows the weakness of the German's resume.
Over the aforementioned time span, Abraham is the only current or former world champion Stieglitz has faced. When the 168-pound Super Six Tournament took place between 2009 and 2011, Stieglitz didn't participate.
Pound-for-pound contender Andre Ward won the tournament, and it helped make him a star. Stieglitz had a long title run during this time, but it took place in relative obscurity. Perhaps the weaknesses that Bleacher Report's Briggs Seekins points out have prevented his camp from pushing him into bouts with better fighters outside of Germany.
Robert Stieglitz is a hittable fighter. He comes forward in predictable lines and uses minimal head movement.
He has a tendency to drop his hands slightly just before pumping his jab. This provides his opponents a tell, and it makes it easier for them to counter over the top with straight rights.
When he attacks, he tends to square up and make himself a bigger target.
These are all bad habits that elite fighters are sure to exploit. Luckily for Stieglitz, Khomitsky is not elite.
Will he ever take the risks with his matchmaking that could give him an opportunity to become a star? It sure isn't happening with this fight.
The Book on Khomitsky
The only positive thing to say about Khomitsky's chances of winning on Saturday is that he has nothing to lose. If that even counts.
No one expects Khomitsky to give Stieglitz much trouble, no matter how the German tried to sell his opponent to the public. Khomitsky has only been in one bout scheduled for more than eight rounds since 2011. He has been in the ring with some top competition. Gennady Golovkin and Martin Murray (twice) are two of his past opponents, but he didn't win any of those fights.
There's no reason to believe he'll be able to pull the major upset. It just seems a little late in Stieglitz's career for him to face a gatekeeper type.
Stieglitz will win by unanimous decision. Khomitsky has a solid chin, but he could possibly lose every round on the judges' scorecards.
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