The Week That Was (March 18-24, 2013)

By Teron Briggs on March 25, 2013
The Week That Was (March 18-24, 2013)
A possible showdown with the division’s top dog, Andre Ward, may be in the cards.

If Stieglitz doesn’t grant Abraham an immediate rematch, as this writer hopes, there are a number of high profile fights for him in the division…

GETC Arena, Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany

Stieglitz dethrones King Arthur to reclaim his crown

The first time they met in August of 2012, for what was then Robert Stieglitz’s (43-3, 25 KOs) WBO super middleweight title, Arthur Abraham (36-4, 28 KOs) eked out a close 12-round decision in a hotly contested bout. Seven months after that competitive fight, Stieglitz reclaimed his title in dominant fashion by stopping Abraham in four brutal rounds.

By the time the fight was waived off, the ringside physician advised referee Michael Ortega that Abraham could no longer continue because his left eye had been closed shut from numerous right hands. King Arthur absorbed a hellacious beating. Stieglitz, who acknowledged after the fight that it was “very important” that he reclaim his title and avenge his loss to Abraham, came out fighting aggressively from the opening bell. Throwing rapid-fire combinations, Stieglitz overwhelmed the gun-shy Abraham, landing almost 100 more punches over three rounds. In round two Abraham was hurt on several occasions by right hands that battered the normally rock solid former champion. For every punch that Abraham landed, and he did land a few good power shots, his foe landed two or three in return. In the third round Abraham resorted to tactics unbefitting a king, when he repeatedly hit Stieglitz behind the head when they clinched, forcing Ortega to deduct a point. The point was, however, academic as Stieglitz had started to land his shots at an alarmingly high rate, and the swelling around Abraham’s eye made it impossible for him to see the punches coming. Between rounds the referee rightfully waived off the contest, awarding the jubilant Stieglitz the title Abraham had taken from him less than a year ago.

“Now the score between us is even. We need a third, all-deciding fight,” Abraham told the press as he and his manager Wilfried Sauerland made their case for a rubber match. For Abraham, it was the fourth time in his last five title fights he suffered a lopsided beating. If Stieglitz doesn’t grant him an immediate rematch, as this writer hopes, there are a number of high profile fights for him in the division, including a possible showdown with the division’s top dog, Andre Ward.

Helenius fails to impress, again

Two years ago Robert Helenius scored highlight reel knockouts over former titleholders Samuel Peter and Siarhei Liakhovich that led many in the sport to believe he could be a threat to the mighty Klitschkos. That was before being given a gift decision against Dereck Chisora in December of 2011, for which Helenius blamed his poor performance on an injury. The next great heavyweight hope then took a one-year hiatus to have shoulder surgery and returned in November of 2012 with a pedestrian win over veteran trial horse Sherman Williams. Needing to make a statement against long faded former contender Michael Sprott, a loser of four of his last five bouts, Helenius instead turned in a humdrum performance and was awarded a 12-round unanimous decision by scores of 98-93 twice and 97-93.

Helenius was more than content to use his sizable reach and height advantage to outbox Sprott, but he failed to pursue a knockout over a guy who’s been stopped 10 times in his career.

With his number one ranking from the WBO, Helenius is due a title shot against WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko. If the Helenius who fought Sprott, Williams and Chisora shows up for that fight, his chance of victory is nonexistent.

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Superman avenges loss with sixth round knockout

The number one IBF rated light heavyweight Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (20-1, 17 KOs) avenged the one loss of his career by knocking Darnell Boone (19-21, 8 KOs) out cold with a wicked left cross at 2:43 of the sixth round. 

In April of 2010 an undefeated Stevenson was shockingly KO’d in the second round of his fight with the lightly regarded onetime contender. After rebuilding his career with six consecutive victories, Stevenson told his promoter Yvon Michel that he needed to exact revenge on Boone. Boone put up a valiant losing effort, but he was simply no match for the quick southpaw with the big left hand.

Stevenson is now scheduled to challenge for Chad Dawson’s IBF title in Montreal on June 8th on HBO World Championship Boxing.

UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois, USA

“I think they made a bad decision”

Those are the words of Chicago native Donovan George (24-3-2, 21 KOs) following his highly questionable split decision draw with David Lopez (41-13-1, 23 KOs) in the main event of ESPN Friday Night Fights. At the end of 10 rounds, the judges scored the bout 97-94 Lopez (apparently this judge relied on his Seeing Eye dog to lead him to the ring apron), 96-94 George, and 95-95. and scored the bout 98-92 in George’s favor. I had him winning on my scorecard, and most ringside observers thought the hometown favorite had done more than enough to earn the decision. Lopez was at times able to hold his own against the stronger man, as he landed accurate and stinging counterpunches when George charged in without a jab, as he did often. However, those moments were rare as George was able to land an astounding number of power punches on the constantly retreating Lopez. George could’ve been more active in the middle rounds were he was lulled into following Lopez around the ring, without throwing many punches. But when there was action, George dominated the back and forth with his heavy hands and sheer aggression. Lopez simply didn’t throw or land enough punches to make this a close fight.

It was a tough setback for George who is trying to position himself to challenge for a title, after being stopped in an IBF title eliminator by Adonis Stevenson last year. George is a tough but limited fighter with a fan friendly style who will certainly be back in a televised fight in the near future.

The Killer has left the building

Kermit “The Killer” Cintron was at one time one of the most feared punchers in boxing, amassing an impressive record of 24-0, 22 KOs before being brutally stopped by Antonio Margarito in April of 2005. It’s been pretty much downhill since then. After leaving the sport for a year, following a one-sided beating by junior middleweight titleholder Saul Alvarez in November of 2011, Cintron (33-5, 28 KOs) returned to the division in which he previously enjoyed success to face welterweight Adrian Granados. After 10 fun rounds of at times toe-to-toe action, the bout was ruled a draw as the judges scored it 96-94 Granados, 97-93 Cintron, and 95-95.

Cintron played the role of hunter early in his career, as he would seek and destroy his opposition, but he had his best moments in this fight as a counterpuncher. Granados apparently thought he could do what Margarito had done, which was to steamroll over Cintron. The 23-year-old from Chicago was determined to press forward behind booming left and right hands. Early on, Cintron was able to avoid his attack with clever footwork while landing flush left hook counters that didn’t seem to faze Granados. However, the last few rounds reduced a dispirited Cintron to landing one punch at time, as the younger and fresher fighter remained undaunted by his assault.

Cintron has clearly seen better days, as he has suffered setbacks in three of his last four fights. There are still some significant bouts awaiting him, but at this point of his career he’s reduced to being a B side. For Granados, it was a great learning experience as he got an opportunity to match wits with a former champion.

Centro de Espectaculos “La Macarena”, Uruapan, Michoacan de Ocampo, Mexico

Rubio records his 57th career victory before raucous Mexican crowd

In front of 5,000 adoring fans, former middleweight title challenger Marco Antonio Rubio (57-6, 49 KOs) recorded a 12-round unanimous decision victory over Marcus Upshaw by scores of 120-107 and 117-110 twice. With the victory, Rubio captured the vacant and completely unknown WBC Continental Americas title.

The fight was little more than a professional sparring session for Rubio. He was never in trouble and, though he failed, repeatedly went for the knockout in an attempt to record the 50th KO of his career. For much of the latter half of the bout the animated crowd chanted “Mexico, Mexico, Mexico” in unison as Rubio landed multiple unanswered shots on Upshaw’s head.

Somehow the WBC has made Rubio the number one mandatory to face the universally recognized middleweight king Sergio Martinez. This is in spite of the fact that Rubio was knocked out in seven rounds when he challenged then WBC champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last February. Since that time, he’s recorded victories over four unremarkable and unranked foes that somehow earned him a mandated title shot.

The fugazy WBC has done it again.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Arthur Abraham vs Robert Stieglitz 2 Revanche Full Fight

Michael Sprott (GBR) vs. Robert Helenius (FIN)

David Lopez vs Donovan George'a 2013-03-22

Adrian Granados y Kermit Cintron empatan en Chicago

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  1. bk don 07:07am, 03/28/2013

    M. Schmidt - i think the broken jaw was a matter of Abraham’s ability to deal with pain and discomfort. He was able to battle through that b/c he’s a tough SOB and just sucked it up. The eye issue had to do with his ability to see punches thrown at him. He couldn’t see them, so they stopped the fight to prevent him from getting injured. I have no issues w/the stoppage b/c the eye was completely closed shut and there’s no way he could properly defend himself. Good stoppage by the ref.

  2. Meinhard Schmidt 06:43pm, 03/25/2013

    Yes, Bob, and that is strange for a fighter like abraham who had not much respect for “feather-fisted” stieglitz…

  3. Bob Canobbio 06:34pm, 03/25/2013

    Meinhard: it looked to me like Abraham himself did not want to continue.

  4. Meinhard Schmidt 05:30pm, 03/25/2013

    what i don´t understand.. why did they stop the abraham fight? it was the same doctor who let him continue with a double broken jaw! but abraham seemed to be ok with that decision… what is wrong here? former german great graciano rocchigiani fought with an eye like that eight more rounds against blanchard stopping him eventually…

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