Zbik provides no Sturm Test
Boxing Recap: Sturm vs. Zbik
Lanxness Arena, Cologne, April 14 – The difference between WBA super champion Felix Sturm and the challenger to his middleweight title last night was fitness. Sebastian Zbik’s corner conceded to protect their fighter from a sustained battering at the end of the 9th round in Cologne when it was clear that Zbik had nothing left to offer and had won far fewer round than Sturm.
The battle between the two Germans started lively. Both punchers exchanged blows at an even rate in the opening round leaving the judges to guess who had come out on top. Rounds 2 and 3 were dominated by Zbik but that good work came undone from there on in.
By round 4 Zbik had already started to show signs of tiring while Sturm began to grow in confidence. The champion unpacked his jab and utilized it to great effect. From then on he had very little to deal with. Zbik had some defending to do but the speed of Sturm’s jab made it through every time and Zbik had no answer for it.
By round 8 the champion was in full flow and starting to show his class. Maybe against a fitter opponent it would have been a tougher contest for Sturm but Zbik, huffing and puffing for breath and trying to earn a respite by moving in close, really made his opponent look like the super champion he is.
A triumphant Sturm was delighted to complete his 12th successful title defense. “It was a fair fight and a great advertisement for boxing. It was hard but thank God it work out for me,” said Sturm in his post-fight interview.
So what next for the 33-year-old title-holder? Many believed before this fight that Sturm was nearing the end of his boxing career and that Zbik would have a good chance of winning the belt. Who would have thought that he would dispatch his fellow countryman with relative ease?
One fight that many are calling for is a rematch with Briton Martin Murray. Last June the two sluggers met in Mannheim where Sturm got a lucky draw from the judges. It was an outrageous outcome to a fight that Murray deserved to win so there is some unfinished business there.
All boxing fans hope for is that whoever is next in line will provide a solid challenge. As long as they are fit enough for 12 rounds there is a good chance a new champion could emerge and maybe send Sturm into retirement.