Abraham Gets Shot – at World Title
Posted by Salman Mitha
Posted in WBO
Boxing Recap: Abraham vs. Wilczewski
Kiel, April 1 – Germany’s “King” Arthur Abraham became the WBO mandatory challenger for their world title on Saturday night when he comfortably beat Piotr Wilczewski by unanimous decision at the Sparkassen Arena.
Wilczewski offered a stubborn resistance but ultimately it was the effective jab and number of punches landed that gave Abraham the victory and that meant he retained his WBO European super-middleweight belt. As anyone could have predicted, the judges gave their decision by wide majority (119-108, 118-109, 118-109).
Content to absorb much of Wilczewski’s early pressure, Abraham closed up with a high guard for much of the 12 rounds and backed himself against the ropes. In sporadic intervals he came alive and tried to surprise the Pole with a flurry of body shots.
With such a low work rate and lack of footwork, Abraham looked like a fighter that had been out of the ring for a year and had only spent a couple of weeks training for this bout.
Since stepping up from the 160lb to 168lb weight division limit, King Arthurs’ career has not been as glittering as it was up until 2009 when he was unbeaten in 31 contests. Paired up against the world’s best super-middleweights he has lost 3 times. First to Andre Dirrell by disqualification, then 2 decisions against him with Britain’s Carl Froch and then Andre Ward in May last year.
Now, after dispatching with Wilczewski, Abraham is the mandatory challenger for the WBO world title held by fellow German Robert Stieglitz. Stieglitz however must first defend against 24-year-old British and Commonwealth champion George Groves (14-0-0). The unbeaten Londoner is trained by Adam Booth, who helped David Haye to world heavyweight championship glory in 2009. That contest will take place in Erfurt after being tagged onto the Marco Huck/Ola Afolabi world cruiserweight title clash on May 5th.
King Arthur will need to up his game if he is to realise his dream of being a world champion again. Both Groves and Stieglitz have the tools to dismantle slugger Abraham with their more refined boxing ability. One cannot help but wonder whether Abraham would do better to lose the extra 8lb ballast and apply his trade at middleweight again.
May 5th is shaping up to be a boxing night to remember. Not only are there two world title fights in Germany but Floyd Mayweather, rated by many as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, will defend his WBA super world light-middle weight title against Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas.