<
>

Despite noise, don't count on Abraham-Sturm showdown

2d
The WBO won't sanction a fight between super middleweight titlist Arthur Abraham and Felix Sturm. Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

A huge all-German fight that has loomed for years but never happened is a showdown between longtime middleweight titleholders Arthur Abraham, now a super middleweight titlist, and Felix Sturm, who moved up to super middleweight last year.

They are both popular attractions in their country and have been near the top of their divisions for the better part of a decade. But now, even though the fight is past its sell-by date -- Sturm is 0-2-1 in his past three fights and appears to be done -- Abraham promoter Wilfried Sauerland told German newspaper Bild this week he still wants to push the bout, which comes as no surprise because it would probably be easy work for Abraham at this point.

“This fight should take place no later than this year because after [2015], Arthur Abraham has other obligations like a mandatory defense,” Sauerland told the newspaper. “It's not too late to carry out the fight between Abraham and Sturm, but if it doesn’t take place in 2015 then likely it will not take place at all.”

But don’t count on it happening unless Abraham (43-4, 29 KOs) wants to pursue the fight and give up his title, which is unlikely. World Boxing Organization president Paco Valcarcel, whose group sanctions Abraham’s world title, said it would not approve the fight.

“There shouldn't be any talk for a potential; Arthur Abraham-Felix Sturm fight, as the latter is not ranked by the WBO,” Valcarcel tweeted.

Sturm (39-5-3, 18 KOs) doesn’t warrant a ranking, as he is 0-1-1 at super middleweight, including a draw with former titlist Robert Stieglitz (against whom Abraham is 3-1 in four world title bouts) and a decision loss for a vacant secondary belt against Fedor Chudinov in May.

Abraham has been linked to a possible title defense against former middleweight and light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (55-7-2, 32 KOs), who said he would move down to 168 pounds for a shot at Abraham’s title. Hopkins, who turns 51 in January, said he wants one more significant fight before retiring.