By Jake Donovan

Arthur Abraham is well aware that his upcoming opponent, Tim-Robin Lihaug looks to him as one of his boxing idols and an honor to share ring space on July 16 at Max-Schmelling Halle in Berlin, Germany.

The former two-division champ is wise enough to know that the 23-year old prospect looks to him as a way to advance his own career, whereas a second consecutive loss could very well mark the last days at the contender level for Abraham.

Therefore, what boxing fans – and Lihaug – should expect next weekend in Berlin is the Arthur Abraham of old rather than an old Arthur Abraham.

“Tim-Robin Lihaug is a young, emerging talent. He is someone who still has a lot to prove and perhaps has a great future ahead of him, but on July 16, he will learn what it means to fight at the very highest level,” Abraham (44-5, 29KOs) vows. “When the bell rings, he should expect no sympathy from me. This is a fight I must win, and win in style.”

The sense of urgency is aided by his most recent performance, landing on the wrong end of a virtual shutout at the hands of Gilberto Ramirez this past April in Las Vegas. The unbeaten Ramirez handled Abraham en route to becoming the first ever boxer from Mexico to win a super middleweight title.

More so than not wanting to suffer another defeat, Abraham wants to avoid becoming a steppingstone for yet another opponent. Rather, the 36-year old Armenia-born, Berlin-bred boxer plans to use this performance as a launching pad for one more title run.

Of course, that means not being set in your own ways, not the easiest task for a former three-time champion who is wrapping up his 13th year in the pro ranks.

If nothing else, though, Abraham’s career – particularly throughout the entirety of this decade – has been about reinventing the wheel.

He was written off after being treated as a whipping boy in suffering three losses in his disastrous turn in the Showtime Super Six World Boxing Classic tournament following a lengthy run as a middleweight titlist. Instead, he came back to enjoy two title reigns at super middleweight, including his avenging a stoppage loss to Robert Stieglitz twice over, going 3-1 overall in their four fight series.

Abraham did so by making the necessary adjustments in the gym, but with the advice always coming from the main constant in his career.

“Mr. (Ulli) Wegner has shown great belief in me and I want repay his support by proving to him that I can become World Champion again,” Abraham notes of his longtime trainer. “He is not only a great coach but also a great person, and he is right when he says, ‘We win together and we lose together.’

“Things did not go to plan in Las Vegas, but we have learnt from this, and I will come back stronger and more determined than ever.”

The first step in likely his final lap at the top level comes in the familiar surroundings of Berlin, the historic European treasure he has called home since he was a teenager. He also boasts a 10-0 record in the city, including four wins in as many appearances at Max-Schmelling Halle. His last bout at the venue was the final defense of his middleweight title, scoring a 10th round knockout of Mahir Oral in June ’09.

“I have never lost a fight in Berlin and I intend to keep it that way,” Abraham points out. “Here I have the full support of the crowd, and I’m sure they will play their part in another great victory for me.”



Trainer Ulli Wegner has hit back at claims questioning former world champion Arthur Abraham’s (44-5, 29 KOs) motivation prior to his WBO International super middleweight title fight with little-known Tim-Robin Lihaug (15-1, 8 KOs) on July 16 at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin.

Lihaug’s trainer Thomas Hansvoll had called into question Abraham’s desire, stating that he believed the former two-weight World Champion ‘had lost his hunger’ and after years at the top of the sport was ‘not so interested anymore.’ Wegner has disputed these remarks, and says Abraham is hungrier than ever as he looks to regain the world title he lost to Gilberto Ramirez, starting with a victory over Lihaug.

“The loss to Gilberto Ramirez has only made Arthur more determined,” said the 74 year-old coach. “Now he is without a world title, the hunted has become the hunter. He feels a new kind of motivation, and we will see that in the ring on July 16.

“Obviously it was a big blow to lose the title in Las Vegas, but now we must work together to reach the top again. I believe he has what it takes to become World Champion again, if I did not, I would be the first person to tell him to retire. Anyone who knows me knows I am always honest in my assessments, and I can tell you this is not the end of the road for Arthur.”

While optimistic for the future, Wegner realises another defeat could signal the end of Abraham’s career. “Anything but a win would be disastrous for Arthur,” he says. ”But we’ve trained well and I’m confident his hand will be raised.”




Abraham_gloves (720x532)_1

By Jake Donovan –

At age 36 and now a three-time former champion, Arthur Abraham insists there is plenty of air left in his tires.

The recently dethroned super middleweight titlist took some well-deserved time off following his 12-round points loss to unbeaten Gilberto Ramirez in April, but is now ready to return for at least one more title run. The first step in pursuing that goal will come July 16, when Abraham will appear in the chief support at the famed Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany.

His placement on the show comes on the heels of the recent announcement of another bout of interest to the super middleweight division. Italy’s Giovanni De Carolis makes the first defense of his version of the 168-pound crown as he faces Tyron Zeuge in the main event.

“I’m not ready to say goodbye to the sport I love so much,” Abraham (44-5, 29KOs) said in a statement released through the press office of Team Sauerland, his career-long promoter. “The fight with Ramirez did not go as planned, but I promise this will not happen again. I will show that I can do better and that I can become World Champion again – that is my greatest wish!”

An opponent has yet to be secured for his first fight home since dropping a lopsided decision to Ramirez in Las Vegas.

Ramirez made history in becoming the first boxer from Mexico to claim a piece of the super middleweight crown. The fact that Abraham landed on the wrong end of that piece of trivia was less concerning than the manner in which he conceded the crown.

“I was not happy with Arthur’s performance against Ramirez, but I have decided to give the boy another chance,” said Uli Wegner, Abraham’s famed longtime trainer. “He did not do enough in Las Vegas to retain his title and call himself a champion. Now, he must work harder and show that this was just a blip in his character.”

The sentiment is shared by those who’ve guided Abraham’s career since his pro debut in 2003.

Abraham raced to his first title reign, knocking out Kingsley Ikeke in the 5th round of their Dec. ’05 clash. It was just his 19th pro fight, coming less than 2 ½ years into his career, but he proved a worthy champ in defending 10 times before moving up to super middleweight.

He soared to new heights after scoring a literal last-second knockout of Jermain Taylor in Oct. ’09 at the start of the Showtime Super Six super middleweight tournament. It appeared to have been his peak, as Abraham suffered three lopsided losses in a span of four fights, his career hitting a tailspin as the next step was uncertain.

A resurrection came in Aug. ’12, as did the launch of an unlikely rivalry when Abraham dethroned Robert Stieglitz to claim a super middleweight belt. The bout was the first of a four-fight set, with Abraham winning, losing, regaining and successfully defending the title over that stretch. Five successful defenses came of his second super middleweight reign, including a knockout win over Stieglitz in their fourth fight last summer and a narrow points win over Martin Murray last November.

The loss to Ramirez was tough to watch for those who’ve long backed the Armenia-born, Germany-based boxer, but his team isn’t quite yet ready to throw in the towel.

“Arthur has overcome many obstacles in his career – fighting through a broken jaw to defend his middleweight title against Edison Miranda and suffering defeat in the Super Six on his way to becoming a two weight World Champion,” points out Kalle Sauerland. “He has come back from defeat before and we’re sure he can do it again.

“It’s now about his legacy and how he wants to be remembered as a boxer. He must show that the fire still burns and that he’s willing to put in the work to become World Champion again.”




By Dan Ambrose: Undefeated #1 WBO Gilberto “Zurdo’ Ramirez (34-0, 24 KOs) won a surprisingly easy 12 round unanimous decision victory over WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (44-5, 29 KOs) to become the first Mexican to win the 168lb world title in their fight on HBO Boxing PPV from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The final judges’ scores were an identical 120-108, 120-108 and 120-108.

I didn’t agree with those scores. I had Abraham winning three rounds in the fight. The judges didn’t give Abraham much credit. However, it was a very one-sided fight though, as the 6’2 ½” Ramirez was simply too tall for the shorter, older 5’9” Abraham.

Ramirez was constantly moving around the ring, peppering Abraham with jabs and hooks the entire three minutes of every round. When Abraham did land some solid shots, Ramirez was sure to fire back with counter shots.

In the 2nd round, Ramirez hurt Abraham with a left to the head that had him holding on. It was a good shot from Ramirez that caught the 36-year-old Ramirez when he was coming forward trying to land one of his own shots.

Ramirez nailed Abraham with a clubbing right hand to the head in the final seconds of the 4th round, and then gave him a hard shoulder when he attempted to come forward to retaliate with a punch of his own. It was a good move by Ramirez, but clearly a dirty move on his part. The referee didn’t do anything about it other than warn Ramirez.

In the 5th round, Ramirez hit Abraham with a hard low blow while he was coming forward. The action stopped for a bit while Abraham recovered. Before the round ended, Ramirez nailed Abraham with a rabbit shot to the back of the head. Ramirez was clearly getting dirty in this round, but Abraham kept his cool and didn’t start getting dirty with his own rough stuff.

Abraham landed two solid left hands to the head of Ramirez in the 6th round that drove him to the ropes. That was arguably Abraham’s best round of the fight, even though Ramirez still landed more punches.

From the 7th round on, Ramirez began to move much more around the ring, changing directions and throwing light hooks. The constant movement and incoming punches kept Abraham from being able to set his feet to throw his own power shots.

Ramirez dominated the last four rounds of the contest with his movement and high volume shots. Abraham looked defeated by that point in the fight, and he wasn’t trying hard to land anything the way he needed to.

Overall, it was a good effort from Ramirez. He boxed well, and kept out of the way of Abraham. It was kind of boring to watch, however. Compared to some of the more entertaining super middleweights in the division, Ramirez is decidedly boring due to all the movement that he uses. If his promoter Bob Arum wants to turn him into a star, he’s going to need to keep him a little more stationary because the constant movement is not interesting to watch. When you compare Ramirez’s performance to the other fighters on the card like Oscar Valdez and Jose Ramirez, he was very dull to watch.

Arum wants to lure IBF/IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin up to super middleweight so that he can fight Gilberto Ramirez. I don’t see that happening ever. Ramirez is a very, very big super middleweight who could clearly fight in the light heavyweight division if he wanted to.


Date:   Saturday, April 9, 2016


Location:   MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Promoter:    Top Rank / Bob Arum

Supervisor:   Francisco Valcarcel, Esq.

Referee:  Tony Weeks

Judges:  Glenn Feldman, Glenn Trowbridge, Adalaide Byrd

Results:   Arthur Abraham loses the fight by unanimous decision against Gilberto Ramirez, who became  the new WBO Super Middleweight champion.

TV:   USA HBO PPV, Germany SAT.1


It’s been nearly five years since WBO world super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham fought outside of Germany, where he’s made his home for most of his life.

His last boxing venture abroad was at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, where he lost to Andre Ward via unanimous decision. It was his third loss in four fights, but Abraham rekindled his career by setting up shop in Germany and becoming the fighter to beat in the super middleweight ranks.

With his reputation in Europe firmly established, the Armenian-born Abraham is returning to the United States for a high-profile title defense on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley Jr. rubber match at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Undefeated up-and-comer Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez will be looking to dethrone the battle-tested Abraham, who presents by far the toughest challenge of his promising career. The 24-year-old is looking to become the first Mexican boxer to win a super middleweight title.

“That’s why you work so hard,” Ramirez told ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael through a translator. “You don’t want to just be a guy. You want to be a special fighter. The opportunity to be the first Mexican super middleweight champion is added motivation for me. It really means a lot.”

Here’s the viewing info and odds for the super middleweight clash.


Abraham vs. Ramirez: Fight Time, Viewing Info

When: Saturday, April 9 at 9 p.m. ET

Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas

TV: HBO (pay-per-view)

Live Stream: Top Rank TV (pay-per-view)

Odds: Abraham 9-5; Ramirez 10-23



  • FROM: Francisco Valcárcel, Esq.
  • DATE: January 8, 2016
  • RE: WBO Super Middleweight Purse Bid Arthur Abraham vs. Gilberto Ramirez

As per Section 11 through 13 of the WBO Regulations for World Championship Contest, please be advised that a purse bid will be held at 12:00 NOON Puerto Rico Time on Friday January 8, 2016 at the:

  • World Boxing Organization
  • 1056 Muñoz Rivera Ave. Suite 711-714 San Juan, PR 00927
  • Tel. +1 (787) 765-4444

The minimum acceptable bid for the Super Middleweight Division is $300,000.00 (Three Hundred Thousand Dollars).

PDF File: 160108 PBN Arthur Abraham vs. Gilberto Ramirez

Date:   Saturday,  November 21, 2015


Location:   Tui Arena, Hannover, Niedersachsen, Germany

Promoter:  Sauerland Event

Supervisor:  Francisco Valarcel, Esq.

Referee:  Benjy Esteves Jr.

Judges:  Clark Sammartino (116-111); Rose M. Lacend (115-112);  Jerry Jacubko (112-115)

Results:  The Champion Arthur Abraham retained the WBO super middleweight title on split decision scores of 115-112, 116-111, and 112-115.

TV:   Germany SAT.1

GettyImages-498208936.0 Credit:  Photo by Martin Rose /Getty Images  –

Arthur Abraham got the split decision nod without much controversy, and Martin Murray once again came up just short of a world title.

Martin Murray came up just that little bit short once again, and Arthur Abraham retained the WBO super middleweight title today in Hannover, Germany, on split decision scores of 115-112, 116-111, and 112-115. BLH scored the fight 114-113 for Abraham, with an 11th round point deduction against Murray the difference on our card.

Abraham (44-4, 29 KO) started slow, which is nothing new for the 35-year-old veteran titleholder, but picked up his pace starting in the fourth round, and was able to win the majority of the rounds from there on our card, though many were quite close. Murray (32-3-1, 15 KO) never went away, and was in the fight until the very end, competing on a pretty even level with Abraham.

The point deduction came as a result of excessive holding, with Murray, 33, having been warned a few times prior to that, and given at least one stern talking-to over the course of the bout.

For England’s Murray, this is a third very close call in a world title bout, of the four he’s had in his career. In 2011, he fought Felix Sturm to a draw in Germany, and in 2013 was arguably robbed of the middleweight championship in Argentina against Sergio Martinez. His other world title opportunity came in February of this year, as he went to Monaco and was smashed by Gennady Golovkin, and stopped in the 11th round.

Murray moved up to super middleweight following the loss to Golovkin, and was looking to finally take that world title at his new weight. But it just wasn’t to be once again. He’s now 0-4 in world title fights, while Abraham improves to 19-3 in world title fights over his career.


2EA4F76F00000578-0-image-a-5_1448044144778The 33-year-old (right) is greeted by fans following the weigh-in, which took place in Hannover, Germany

Credit:  Photos by Bongarts / Getty Images /

Article by Jeff Powell –

It is hard to think of any boxer more deserving of winning a world title than Martin Murray.

The hard man from St Helens is prepared to take on anyone, anywhere.

On Saturday night, he turns up in Hannover to challenge home favourite Arthur Abraham for the world super-middleweight title.


Martin Murray (right) will go toe-to-toe with Arthur Abraham (left) in Germany on Saturday night

2EA50B3E00000578-0-image-a-4_1448043681513Murray shows off his muscular physique during Friday’s press conference ahead of the showdown

This is the sportsman who never gets to play a home game when the major prizes are at stake.

The only three blotches on Murray’s record were inflicted abroad.

Earlier this year he bravely confronted the formidable Gennady Golovkin in Monaco and took the Kazakh KO merchant into the 11th round before succumbing to his only career stoppage.

Prior to that he knocked down Argentine great Sergio Martinez in Buenos Aires but still lost a razor-thin decision.

2EA50C0000000578-3327546-image-a-21_1448045549201Murray poses on the scales as he made the weight ahead of the world super-middleweight title clash

That followed the robbery of the draw gifted to Felix Sturm in Murray’s first world title bid and since that injustice was perpetrated in Mannheim it is the result most relevant to this Saturday evening’s affair.

It is notoriously difficult for outsiders to secure a decision against German-based fighters in that country.

Murray shrugs, suggests it might be time to nickname himself ‘The Road Warrior’ and says: ‘I’ll fight anyone, anywhere but this time I hope the three judges realise the eyes of the world are upon them.’

He also believes Abraham has miscalculated in regarding this voluntary defence as a stepping stone to bigger championship unification fights next year.


Merseyside-born Murray roars in delight after successfully making the weight over in Germany 


Abraham upped the intensity of his training sessions because he expects a tough test against Murray 


Abraham has won his last seven fight, his last defeat came against Robert Stieglitz in March 2013

Murray will be encouraged to know that Abraham is beginning to suspect as much himself.

King Arthur is now saying: ‘I realise that Murray is a good boxer who is going to give me a very tough fight. Once we got into camp we cranked up the training to the hardest I’ve ever been through. It was torture and became almost brutal. I knew I had to be in my best possible condition.’

Murray’s three previous world title fights were at middleweight and he says he feels stronger now he has moved up a division.

The question is whether he will still punch his weight.

Murray has never been the hardest hitter but has broken down most of his opponents by the cumulative effect of his consistent punching.

On this busy fight night, Murray will be the first into the ring of three Brits bidding for world titles.


abraham-wegner-heger (Credit: Photo by Sebastian Heger –

Training is underway for Arthur Abraham (43-4, 29 KOs) as he prepares for his WBO World Super Middleweight Championship contest with Britain’s Martin Murray (32-2-1, 15 KOs) on November 21 at the TUI Arena in Hannover, Germany.

As the Berlin-boxer readies himself for a fifth successive defence of his WBO strap, the former 160 lbs ‘King’ turned super middleweight supremo has been bolstered by the return of his long-standing coach and mentor Ulli Wegner who had been sidelined with an Achilles injury.‘’It’s great to have Mr. Wegner back,’’ exclaims Abraham. ‘’We had been talking everyday on the phone and discussing my progress but there is no substitute to having him there in person giving me direct feedback. I rely on his input and with him in my corner there is no way I can lose.’’

The ever-critical Wegner has already set about changing the 35 year-old’s training regime. Removing any distractions by taking his protégé from the bustling Max-Schmeling-Gym in Berlin to a secluded training camp in Kienbaum’s Olympic Centre.

‘’Arthur must focus all his energy and attention on this fight or risk losing his World title,’’ said the star coach. ‘’And that is why we need to complete isolation. My job is to ensure he is in top championship condition, and currently his fitness is not where I would like it to be. Now, he must step up his efforts or prepare for defeat.’’

Abraham, used to the 73 year-old’s exacting standards, offers a simple reply when faced with his coach’s criticism, admitting: ‘’Mr Wegner is always right!’’

The WBO World Super Middleweight Championship fight between Arthur Abraham and Martin Murray will be broadcast live on Sat.1 in Germany and Sky Sports in the UK. Tickets are available online via tickethall.de and eventim.de.



WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham put a period on the end of the following sentence on Saturday in Germany: “Arthur Abraham is better than Robert Stieglitz.”

With an emphatic sixth-round KO in their fourth meeting, Abraham left no doubt which man holds sway in the long rivalry. He dropped Stieglitz with a hard right hand, and his opponent’s corner showed the towel, signaling the surrender.

Here’s a look at the sequence in a tweet from Only Full Fights:

Before being floored for good in the sixth, Stieglitz also hit the canvas in the fourth round. Abraham has beaten his compatriot and former champion in three of four fights now, but none of the previous victories were as definitive as this one.

Abraham was the aggressor for most of the fight, as his opponent looked out of sorts. Stieglitz moved as if he lacked energy and motivation. This fight was clearly lacking the energy and competitiveness that had made spots of the previous three fights compelling.

Many members of the boxing community seemed relieved to see the Abraham-Stieglitz saga come to an apparent end. TalkinBoxing‘s take was just one example:

At 34 years old and with his skills clearly declining, Stieglitz has to ask himself if this should be the end of the road.

He rarely fought outside of his native Germany. He and Abraham passed the WBO super middleweight championship back and forth the better part of three years. If Stieglitz stops fighting, he won’t go down as one of the best 168-pounders of his era, but he has had a nice career.

Abraham has fought far better competition. He’s beaten Edison Miranda twice and former champions Jermain Taylor and Raul Marquez. The Armenian-born champion is now 35 years old and has shown no willingness to venture outside of his adopted home of Germany to defend his title.

In fact, the last time he fought anywhere besides Germany was in 2011 when Andre Ward outclassed him in the 168-pound Super Six Tournament.

For years Abraham and Stieglitz have competed largely in a bubble. After Saturday’s decisive end to their rivalry, one of their bubbles has burst, and it’s time for the next chapter in both fighters’ careers.

We’ll see which direction they go in the coming months.


Date:   Saturday, July 18, 2015


Location: Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle, Germany

Promoter:  Sauerland Promotions / Wilfried Sauerland


Referee:  Earl Brown

Judges:  Lynne Carter; Waleska Roldan; Don Trella

Results:   The WBO Super Middleweight Champion Arthur Abraham retained the title against Robert Stieglitz by TKO on sixth round.

TV:  Germany SAT.1



Arthur Abraham (42-4, 28 KOs) and Robert Stieglitz (47-4-1, 27 KOs) both made weight today ahead of their fourth WBO World Super Middleweight Championship contest tomorrow night at the Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle, Germany.

WBO World Super Middleweight Championship:
Arthur Abraham: 76 kg
Robert Stieglitz: 75.9 kg


abraham  Image credit: MMAshare.com –

Familiarity, it is often said, breeds contempt. Something Arthur Abraham (42-4, 28 KOs) and Robert Stieglitz (47-4-1, 27 KOs) may well identify with.

Take 4

Saturday night will be the fourth time the two have met in the ring in a world title fight, and depending on how you choose to look at it; the opening bell can either signify the start of round one or round 29 between the pair.

Abraham, who will be defending his WBO super-middleweight title, will begin the evening in Halle, Germany with a 2-1 series lead over his domestic rival, in a fight billed as ‘The Final Showdown’.

The pair have shared the WBO title solely between themselves for the past six years, the belt changing hands on each of their three previous meetings.

If this is indeed the closing chapter of this consuming rivalry, and both fighters have already asserted that it will be, then German boxing fans will hope this final stanza will match the high standards of what has preceded it.

Form book

It’s a rivalry that began in 2012. At the time Stieglitz was the reigning WBO super-middleweight champion and had successfully defended his title six times since defeating Hungary’s Karoly Balzsay in 2009.

Much of the media attention during the build up to the opening bout focused on the contrasting styles of the pair, Stieglitz being very much thought of as a boxer, Abraham a puncher.

Stieglitz began the fight as the favourite with the bookmakers, hardly a surprise considering the Magdeburg fighter’s numerous successful title defences, whilst Abraham had experienced a run of indifferent form since making the move from middleweight up to 168lbs.

His record at super-middleweight stood at 4-3 on fight night – his three losses incurred as part of the ‘Super Six’ against Andre Dirrell, Carl Froch and Andre Ward.

Yet despite the doubts Abraham produced an excellent performance on the night to claim a unanimous decision, the judges scoring the bout 116-112, 115-113 and 116-112 in his favour.

How they’ve technically matched up before

Whilst Stieglitz looked to press the action throughout much of the fight, and his punch output was undoubtedly greater, Abraham’s power, counter punching and exceptional defence were too much for him.

After withstanding the early, high intensity pressure of Stieglitz, Abraham took the wind from his sails with a number of solid body shots, slowing Stieglitz’s pace to something more suiting the challenger.

By remaining on the back foot and drawing Stieglitz onto him, Abraham was able to counter with leading, powerful shots, at times punching through the champion’s guard, discouraging his opponent to remain in the pocket and trade at close range.

Stieglitz’s orthodox, straight punches weren’t enjoying much success against Abraham’s infamous high-handed defence and thus Abraham was the far more efficient of the two, landing with greater regularity.

Whilst the fight was always competitive, Abraham seemed to be in control for the vast majority, controlling the distance and limiting the Magdeburg fighter’s effectiveness. Abraham was simply too cunning and wily for Stieglitz on the night, who faded gradually as the fight developed.

Fortunately, as far as Stieglitz and his promotional team at SES were concerned, he wouldn’t have to wait long for his revenge. Seven months later the pair fought a rematch, this time in Stieglitz’s home city of Magdeburg.

Abraham, who arrived as the defending champion, produced one of the poorest performances of his career as Stieglitz claimed a fourth round TKO victory.

From the outset Stieglitz fought at a blistering pace, roared on by a partisan crowd. The intensity of his attacks, though at times not pretty on the eye, were too much for Abraham, who was given no room to breathe.

Stieglitz swarmed his opponent from the opening bell, laying into him with as many shots as he could throw. Abraham, for his part, seemed sluggish and unable to find any rhythm or utilise his jab.

Bereft of footwork, the Berliner was consigned to defensive mode. In the second round Stieglitz landed a huge right hand around the left eye of Abraham, which immediately began to swell.

By the end of the third round, having been deducted a point for hitting behind the head, Abraham’s left eye had almost completely swollen over and his team consulted the fight doctor.

When he failed to answer the bell for the start of round four, the fight was waved off and Stieglitz had reclaimed his WBO super-middleweight title.

Over the twelve months that followed, whilst Stieglitz defended his title against Yuzo Kiyota and Isaac Ekpo, Abraham rebuilt with a controversial decision against Namibia’s Willberforce Shihepo, a victory which saw him re-instated as the WBO’s mandatory challenger, and Giovanni De Carolis.

Styles and their best fight

In March 2014, returning again to Magdeburg, Abraham-Stieglitz III was arguably the best of the trilogy. Stieglitz once again began proceedings at a blistering pace, peppering Abraham with shots throughout much of the opening four rounds.

Abraham was forced to box off the back foot, countering when possible but predominantly covering up against the surging Stieglitz charge.

As the fight wore on, and Stieglitz’s pace began to drop, Abraham was able to find his rhythm for the first time and eat into the points lead that Stieglitz had built for himself, despite having a point deducted in round 8, again for hitting behind the head.

Whilst both men were more than prepared to let their punches go, the quality of Abraham’s defensive work meant he fared much better in the exchanges and as a result took many of the close rounds.

Stieglitz suffered for a lack of variation to his approach. He failed to use his jab effectively enough to set up his attacks and close the gap to Abraham in a fight that was largely contested from the outside.

With Stieglitz attacking in bursts and from range, his attacks became predictable and were thus far easier to counter and nullify.

In round 12, with Stieglitz requiring a stoppage to win, he charged forward relentlessly in the hope of landing something big. However it was Abraham who, having spent much of the round on the back foot, scored the first and thus far only knockdown of the series in the final minute.

Stieglitz beat the count and made it to the end of the fight, the knockdown the icing on the cake for Abraham in a lopsided split decision victory.

And that should really have been that. The public had had their deciding fight, the series had reached a natural conclusion, or so it seemed. However, the WBO had other ideas.

All signs pointing to a great fight

Stieglitz was installed as their mandatory challenger last October after defeating Belarus’s Sergey Khomitsky, though owing to the controversy following Abraham’s first victory over British fighter Paul Smith, and the subsequent rematch, this fight has until now been delayed.

With the two men already being so well acquainted, there will likely be few surprises in terms of style on fight night. Tactics as opposed to attributes will likely be the deciding factor.

Stieglitz and his trainer, Dirk Dzemski, have talked of only small tweaks being required to their game plan as opposed to wholesale changes.

For his part, Abraham, who has spoken of his desire to seek out a unification fight should he win at the weekend, has appeared full of confidence throughout the build-up, secure in the belief that his best has already been proven good enough to handle anything Stieglitz can throw at him.

Abraham will begin the fight as the favourite and will certainly carry the better form to the ring. He’s been marginally the more active of the two since their previous meeting, securing three unanimous decisions over the past 16 months against Montenegro’s Nikola Sjekloca, and the two victories against Smith.

Stieglitz on the other hand will be making his first outing of 2015. He bounced back from his loss to Abraham with a tenth round TKO of Khomitsky, before fighting compatriot Felix Sturm to a draw in November last year.

Regardless of the outcome on Saturday this will, almost certainly, be the final chapter of what has been an enthralling series of fights.

It is a rivalry that has dominated the landscape of German boxing over the past three years, particularly given the absence of Germany’s other potential super-middleweight match-up, Abraham v Sturm.

If it can live up to what has gone before, it can only mean a great fight.




Credit:  Photo by Team Sauerland –

Actions speak louder than words – at least that was the motto at today’s final press conference ahead of the ‘Final Showdown’ between WBO World Super Middleweight Champion Arthur Abraham (42-4, 28 KOs) and Robert Stieglitz (47-4-1, 27 KOs) on Saturday night at the Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle, Germany.

Summarising the fighter’s fourth world championship contest, promoter Kalle Sauerland put it aptly. ‘’This is not a fight that needs to be hyped,’’ said Sauerland. ‘’You need only look at the first three fights between Arthur and Robert to know what we have in store for Saturday night. I’m expecting another entertaining battle and a fitting end to their epic rivalry.’’

Following their three previous encounters, Abraham holds the advantage, with two wins to one defeat. As the fourth fight approaches, the defending champion made clear his intention to claim a conclusive third victory. ‘’This is the end,’’ said the 35 year-old. ‘’There will be no fifth fight. I’ve trained extremely hard and I’m ready for whatever Robert has to offer. After Saturday, there will be no questions remaining. I will prove once and for all that I’m the better boxer.’’

The challenger from Magdeburg remained unfazed by his opponent’s comments instead renewing his promise to regain the WBO crown. ‘’I know how to beat Arthur and I’m ready to settle the score,’’ said Stieglitz. ‘’In my opinion the verdict from our last fight was unjust, but it’s not about the past. It’s about the here and now, and on Saturday I will become world champion again!’’

Arthur Abraham’s WBO World Super Middleweight title defence against Robert Stieglitz takes place on Saturday, July 18 at the Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle. Tickets are available by calling the Gerry Weber Ticket Centre on (+49) 5201 81 80 or online via http://www.gerryweber-world.de and http://www.tickethall.de. All the action will be shown live on SAT.1 in Germany and Sky Sports in the UK.



Arthur Abraham (42-4, 28 KOs) has vowed to bring an end to his feud with domestic rival Robert Stieglitz (47-4-1, 27 KOs) when the German super middleweights contest the WBO World title for a fourth time on July 18 at the Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle. The fighters began their now familiar pre-fight routine with a kick-off press conference today, in which the reigning champion promised to provide a conclusive finish to their long-standing rivalry. ”Four fights with Robert is enough for me,” declared Abraham. ”Of course, victory is always the most important thing, but on July 18, I don’t just want to win, I want to win decisively and prove once and for all that I am the better man!”

Abraham holds the advantage, having triumphed in two of their three previous encounters, but while ‘King Arthur’ eyes a conclusive third victory, Stieglitz aims to settle the score with a second win over the Berlin-based boxer. ”I have analysed all three of our fights in detail,” reveals Stieglitz. ”With the right tactical adjustments, I have no doubt that this time I will be victorious!”

Ahead of their anticipated fourth encounter, Abraham’s coach Ulli Wegner has compared July 18’s battle with Germany’s most heated soccer rivalry. ”This is ‘Der Klassiker’,” declared the 73 year-old. ”The Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund of German boxing! Just like Munich vs. Dortmund, this great rivalry always promises excitement! Arthur must enter the ring in top condition or risk losing his position at the top of the super middleweight division.”

Stieglitz’s coach Dirk Dzemski shares Wegner’s excitement, predicting a ”spectacular fight” at the Gerry Weber Stadium. ”This fight will be on a knife’s edge,” said Dzemski. ”Both boxers know how hard it will be to beat the other and fans can look forward to a spectacular fight. Arthur had better be well prepared because we’re ready for it!”


Arthur Abraham (42-4, 28 KOs) is set to reignite his feud with super middleweight rival Robert Stieglitz (47-4-1, 27 KOs) on July 18 at the Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle, Germany. The boxers meet for a fourth time, with the WBO crown on the line, following a memorable trilogy of world championship fights.

‘’The battle for super middleweight supremacy continues,’’ said promoter Kalle Sauerland. ‘’I’m hard pressed to think of any other trilogy in modern boxing history that has provided such a high level of drama. For that reason, we go again. On July 18, for an unprecedented fourth time, Arthur and Robert will contest the WBO super middleweight title.’’

Abraham and Stieglitz first met in August 2012, where a points decision earned Abraham the WBO strap. In a March 2013 rematch, Stieglitz got his revenge with a fourth-round technical knockout victory. The belt once again changed hands in March 2014 with Abraham flooring Stieglitz on his way to a split decision win. The stage is now set for a fourth battle between ‘King Arthur’ and his mandatory challenger Stieglitz at Germany’s famous Gerry Weber Stadium.

For the defending champion Abraham, July 18 offers him the opportunity to write the final chapter in his rivalry with Stieglitz. ‘’Robert is mandatory challenger, so of course he deserves his shot,’’ said Abraham. ‘’I’ve enjoyed our rivalry, but like all good things, this must come to an end. The Gerry Weber Stadium will provide the perfect venue for me to finish our feud. I had Robert down in the twelfth-round of our last encounter, but this time he will hit the canvas a lot sooner!’’




WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (42-4, 28 KOs) is set to reignite his feud with rival and mandatory challenger Robert Stieglitz (47-4-1, 27 KOs) on July 18 at the Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle, Germany. Abraham and Stieglitz first met in August 2012, where a points decision earned Abraham the WBO strap. In a March 2013 rematch, Stieglitz got his revenge with a fourth-round technical knockout victory. The belt once again changed hands in March 2014 with Abraham flooring Stieglitz on his way to a split decision win. The stage is now set for a fourth battle between ‘King Arthur’ and Stieglitz.


Date:  Saturday, February 21, 2015


Location:   02 World Arena, Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany

Promoter:    Sauerland Event / Wilfried Sauerland

Supervisor:   Istvan Kovacs

Referee:   Raul Caiz Sr.

Judges:   Glenn Feldman 116-112;  Gerardo Martinez  117-111;  Robin Taylor 117-111

Results:     The Champion Arthur Abraham retains the WBO Sup. Middleweight Title against the challenger Paul Smith, by Unanimous Decision.

TV:  Germany SAT 1

25ED0E9600000578-0-image-a-134_1424561482477Credit:  Photos by Getty Images

Abraham has successfully retained his WBO World Super Middleweight Championship following the fight


  • Arthur Abraham defended his WBO super middleweight title 
  • The judges scored 116-112, 117-111 and 117-111 in his favour
  • Abraham’s professional record improved to 42-4 with 28 knockouts 

Arthur Abraham retained his WBO super middleweight belt by defeating Paul Smith of England by unanimous decision for the second time on Saturday.

The judges scored their rematch 116-112, 117-111, 117-111 in favor of Abraham, who again dominated in the face of a spirited challenge from Smith.

Smith was angered to lose their first bout in September in Kiel, Germany, but there could no doubt about the winner here.


Germany’s Arthur Abraham lands a punch on his opponent Paul Smith of Great Britain 

The Armenian-born German seemed comfortable taking Smith’s punches and was more effective with his own, delivering punishing barrages that the Liverpudlian did well to weather.

Smith came out on the front foot, landing with the jab and throwing a useful combination on the ropes but it was nothing to trouble Abraham who landed a left of his own at the end of the first.

Abraham was more aggressive in the second as he targeted the body with both men throwing some wild punches as the third came to a close.

Smith was the first man to look hurt in the fourth and his legs appeared shaky after a barrage of shots ending with a right hook, but the Liverpudlian responded well before the champion unleashed a flurry of blows to the head as the round wound down.

The German had Smith on the ropes again early in the fifth with a flurry of punches but the challenger managed to block the majority of them. Abraham was growing in confidence now and dropped his gloves to invite Smith on before going back on the front foot and landing with more frequency.


Abraham gave an assured performance and won a unanimous decision against the challenger 


Smith hits Abraham with a strong uppercut during their fight in Berlin 

The momentum was with Abraham but Smith is made of stern stuff and a big body shot appeared to rock his opponent, sending Abraham into his shell for the remainder of the sixth.

Both men appeared to be tiring early in the seventh but a combination from Abraham sparked Smith to life with the Briton landing more body shots but a good left from Abraham in the closing stages rocked Smith again.

Abraham appeared to be growing in confidence and was beginning to get through with more punches on the ropes and the challenger kept going back to the body as he was getting little joy with the jab.

The German landed a good right hand just over a minute into the ninth and it was looking likely that the scorecards were getting away from Smith going into the last three rounds.

Abraham kept coming forward in the 10th and landing with more and more regularity, a big right hand wobbling Smith who was looking weary but still battling against the man three years his senior.

Smith seemed to find something else in the next but Abraham was sitting back now, clearly sensing that the job was done, and the German cruised through the last to retain his title.

Abraham improved his professional record to 42-4 (28 KOs) after making the third defense of the title he won back from Robert Stieglitz by split decision in March 2014. Meanwhile, Smith dropped to 35-5 (20 KOs).


After the match, Abraham poses with his belt in his dressing room in Berlin



(Photo Credit: Sebastian Heger) —

Arthur Abraham (41-4, 28 KOs) and Paul Smith (35-4, 20 KOs) came face-to-face at today’s final press conference ahead of their WBO World Super Middleweight Championship rematch on Saturday night at the O2 World in Berlin, Germany.

‘’I know what I need to do,’’ announced the reigning WBO Champion Arthur Abraham. ‘’On Saturday night, I will get the job done. My hand will be raised and the title will remain round my waist!

‘’Smith fought well in our last fight, but can he do it again? I’ve trained harder this time round. I’m in better shape and will show my true potential. He is going to be in for a tough night. I can’t promise a knockout, but I can promise that I will do everything in my power to give the fans a spectacular finish.’’

The challenger, Smith is taking confidence from their first encounter and is also promising an improved performance as he attempts to dethrone ‘King Arthur’ in their world championship rematch.

‘’I’m ready and willing to do whatever it takes to get the win,’’ said Smith. ‘’I’m fit, I’m strong and I‘ve sparred very well. I know I‘ve got what it takes to defeat him. Abraham can be fitter and stronger this time around, any fighter can do that, but he cannot add anymore strings to his bow, he’s not that type of fighter, that type of man or that type in the gym. What he does is incredibly effective, it’s won him many, many World title fights and I respect him massively, but there’s not going to be anything new from him. I’m here to crash the party and prove I belong at the top!’’

Said promoter Kalle Sauerland: ‘’Fans can expect another enthralling fight between these two world-class athletes. Arthur is in great shape and is fired up for this WBO World Championship rematch. He wants to beat Smith, and beat him convincingly, as he knows victory will bring him closer to the fights he craves.’’

Judgement Day: Abraham vs. Smith II is available to watch live on Sat.1 in Germany and Sky Sports in the UK. Tickets are available via http://www.tickethall.de.


Arthur Abraham v Nikola Sjekloca - WBO Super Middleweight World Chammpionship

(Photo from Google images/ringtv.com)

WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham is annoyed by insinuations that he won his first fight with Paul Smith by a bad decision rendered by judges Waleska Roldan (117-111), Fernando Laguna (119-109), Zoltan Enyedi (117-111). “King Arthur” says plans to defeat Smith decisively when they meet again on February 21 at the o2 World Arena in Berlin, Germany.

“I want to clarify once again clearly who is the champion here,” said Abraham. “Paul Smith had a good performance in the first fight, I was just better. Why there was all this whining in the English media about a bad decision I don’t understand. Neither I nor the promoter choose the judges. Like the last time, they are chosen by the world federation.”

As for Smith’s assertion that the immediate rematch was granted because Abraham was ashamed of getting the decision in the first fight, Abraham stated, “That is absolute rubbish! Smith only wants to provoke me. He should train hard because in the rematch I will show no mercy. Actually I just want to prove it to the English press who made the first fight into a scandal.”