Dan Rafael: Giovanni De Carolis

Abraham: 'I know what’s on the line'

October, 23, 2013
Former middleweight and super middleweight titlist Arthur Abraham is clearly on the backside of his career, but with a win Saturday, he will get another title shot.

Abraham is the mandatory challenger for super middleweight titlist Robert Stieglitz (46-3, 26 KOs), and wants a rubber match badly. Abraham won a debatable decision over Stieglitz to win the belt in August 2012, and then was wiped out in four rounds in the March rematch.

Although he didn't look very good, Abraham (37-4, 28 KOs) rebounded from the loss by outpointing Willbeforce Shihepo in August, and now faces Italy’s Giovanni De Carolis (20-4, 10 KOs) at the EWE Arena in Oldenburg, Germany.

If Abraham wins, he’ll maintain his mandatory status and likely face Stieglitz next year for the third time.

"I know what’s on the line,” said the 33-year-old Abraham, who held a middleweight title from 2005 to 2009 before vacating it to move up in weight to join the Super Six World Boxing Classic, where he went 1-3 and looked awful in every fight.

"Only a victory counts and I believe that Arthur is going to deliver it," promoter Kalle Sauerland said. "It's do or die. A wins means another crack at a world title, a loss would be catastrophic.”

There’s so much at stake for Abraham that his trainer, Ulli Wegner, elected to stay with him and work his corner rather than travel with another fighter, Karo Murat, for Murat's light heavyweight world title shot against Bernard Hopkins on Saturday in Atlantic City, N.J.

"Look Arthur, this Saturday night I will be in your corner and not with Karo Murat in Atlantic City. That's what our relationship means to me,” the 71-year-old Wegner told Abraham at this week’s media workout.

Arthur Abraham gets an opponent

September, 26, 2013
Former super middleweight titlist Arthur Abraham (37-4, 28 KOs) received an opponent for his Oct. 26 main event in Oldenburg, Germany, it was announced Wednesday. He will face Italy's Giovanni De Carolis (20-4, 10 KOs) at the EWE Arena.

"Finally, there is clarity for me," Abraham said. "Now I will have to study my next opponent on tape, together with my coach Ulli Wegner. With the perfect preparation and strategy, there is no doubt in my mind that I will leave the ring as the winner."

Abraham is in the mandatory position for a rubber match with 168-pound titlist Robert Stieglitz, but Stieglitz will first make an Oct. 19 defense. That means the rubber match won't happen until at least early next year, and Abraham wanted to stay active in the meantime. So he'll take on De Carolis, whose résumé is devoid of a notable opponent or victory.

"He is a good technician who likes to mix it up offensively," Wegner said of De Carolis. "This will be a good test for Arthur. If he wins decisively, I will be more than excited about a third fight between him and Stieglitz in early 2014."

Abraham won a debatable decision over Stieglitz to win the belt in August 2012 and then was wiped out in four rounds in the March rematch.

The undercard of the show took a hit when Russian heavyweight contender Denis Boytsov (33-0, 26 KOs) was knocked off by yet another injury.

Sauerland Event managing director Chris Meyer told ESPN.com that Boytsov injured a knee last week while playing soccer.

Meyer said the fighter would lay off the knee for two weeks while going for therapy before a doctor decides if he can fight on a Nov. 23 card.

Boytsov, 27, has had several injury setbacks, mainly hand injuries.