Boxing Preview: Robert Steiglitz faces Felix Sturm in All German Affair

felix-sturm-514This Saturday night (November 8, 2014), the eyes of German boxing will be on the Porsche Arena as Felix Sturm steps up in weight to meet Robert Steiglitz in a battle of two of the country’s most decorated boxers. Heading into fight week, the books have opened Steiglitz a favorite and he is now at (-130) with Sturm even money (+100) in what is expected to be a difficult fight for both men. Sturm has been a dominant force in the Middleweight division for a long time. It was more than 10 years ago that the youthful Sturm lost his first fight and the WBO Middleweight title he had already defended once to an aging Oscar De La Hoya. He captured the WBA World Middleweight belt in 2006, lost it then re-gained it in 2007, holding it for the next five years over 12 title defenses. Since 2011, his aura of invincibility has been shattered however, as he has scored wins, but he also earned two losses a draw and a no contest in that time frame. He lost his title in a close decision to Australian Sam Soliman in February of 2013, but the title was returned to Sturm due to a failed post-fight test by Soliman. When he faced Soliman again in May of 2014, Soliman won a much more definitive decision and he went home with Sturm’s belt. That was the last time we saw Sturm compete, and he is now fighting this match at a catchweight of 166.45 lbs, which is six pounds plus heavier than the Middleweight limit he was used to. Though they are roughly the same height, the weight may be a factor, as Sturm has competed at under 160 lbs for so long. Steiglitz is a long time Super Middleweight who has campaigned at Light Heavyweight earlier in his career. Steiglitz captured the WBO World Super Middleweight title back in August of 2009, and he made six straight defenses of that title before losing it to Arthur Abraham in April of 2013. He battled Abraham to a Split Decision loss in a bid to regain his belt in March of this year. What is at stake for both men is a potential showdown with fellow countryman Abraham. Steiglitz, though 0-2 against Abraham, won the fight on one of the judge’s scorecards and there has been talk of a third meeting between the two. Should Sturm edge Steiglitz, Sturm at Super Middleweight to face Abraham should be a fight that gets the German boxing public excited. For Sturm, it is not out of the realm of possibility that he will drop back down to Middleweight. Soliman, the Australian who took his IBF World belt, has since lost the title to American Jermaine Taylor and a match between Sturm and Taylor would certainly be a fight that Sturm could be favored in, especially if it was held in Germany. Sturm must be feeling pressure at this point in his career to sustain the level of excellence he has maintained for so long, and at 35 years old, it is completely conceivable that his skills have started to erode. Steiglitz is naturally used to campaigning at Super Middleweight, and he has a more than 50 percent KO ratio. As a former world champion himself, Steiglitz is a formidable first fight for Sturm to test the waters in a new weight class. Though Steiglitz has not been as popular as Sturm in Germany over the years, Steiglitz matches up well with Sturm, who pretty much has to outbox him and win on the cards over 12 rounds. The undercard has several matches that may wawrrant lines, including the Heavyweight bout between Francesco Pianeta and Ivica Bacurin, and the excellent WBA WOrld Female Flyweight title bout between Susi Kentikian and undefeated Japanese protege Naoko Fujioka. Check back at the books later this week for lines on those fights.

Written by Miguel

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