Thursday, February 27, 2014
Stieglitz, Abraham III on ESPN3
By Dan Rafael
Super middleweight titlist Robert Stieglitz will defend his belt in a third meeting with Arthur Abraham.
Super middleweight titlist Robert Stieglitz and former titleholder Arthur Abraham are 1-1 in their first two world title bouts. They will settle the score in their rubber match on Saturday in Magdeburg, Germany, in a major fight in their country -- but also one that can be seen in the United States.
The fight, which takes place at the GETEC Arena in Stieglitz's hometown, will be streamed live on ESPN3.com beginning at 5 p.m. ET.
Who: Robert Stieglitz-Arthur Abraham Where: GETEC Arena in Magdeburg, Germany When: Saturday, March 1, 5 p.m. ET Coverage: ESPN3.com
Abraham (38-4, 28 KOs), a former middleweight titleholder, won a tight decision against Stieglitz to claim a super middleweight belt when they first met in August 2012. But in the rematch in March 2013, Stieglitz dominated en route to a fourth-round knockout victory to regain the 168-pound title.
That set the stage for the tiebreaker, which also happened to be ordered as a mandatory defense for Stieglitz (46-3, 26 KOs).
"Saturday will be a real collision in the ring," Stieglitz said at Tuesday's final news conference. "Outside the ring I'm relaxed, because I'm here at home and Arthur is coming into the lion's den. I will defend my title successfully and not give in."
Abraham, who turned 34 on Feb. 20, has not looked great for the past few years, despite the debatable victory against Stieglitz. Abraham has won his last two fights, but he knows that another loss to Stieglitz would be disastrous.
"The previous fights are in the past," he said. "We are very well prepared and promise an exciting fight the fans will like. I have many fans here backing me. I don't feel like I'm in a lion's den, but rather in the cave of the cat. No matter where I'm boxing, I feel at home. It's all or nothing. There's nothing more important."
Other than the decision loss to Abraham, the 32-year-old Stieglitz has not lost since he was stopped by Librado Andrade in a 2008 title elimination bout. He is confident about winning the rematch with Abraham.
"2013 was my year," said Stieglitz, who was 4-0, including regaining the title and defending it twice. "I have brought the title back, which I only loaned to Abraham. I successfully defended the title twice. Now I want to defend my title successfully [again]. I will remain a world champion. I am really happy about being able to write boxing history."
Said Dirk Dzemski, Stieglitz's trainer, "A year ago, the team delivered a super performance. But 2013 is history; 2014 is a new year. Robert can have an even better performance [against Abraham]."