Former middleweight and super middleweight titlist Arthur Abraham has his eye on a rubber match with rival Robert Stieglitz, but with that fight out of the picture until at least early next year, Abraham is taking a tune-up fight.
Abraham, of Germany, will fight an opponent to be determined on Oct. 26 at the EWE Arena in Oldenburg, Germany, Sauerland Event announced on Tuesday.
Thirteen months ago, Abraham outpointed Stieglitz in a very close fight to win a super middleweight world title. After one successful defense, Abraham faced Stieglitz in a contractually obligated rematch and got wiped out via fourth-round knockout in a non-competitive fight as Stieglitz regained a 168-pound title.
Abraham (37-4, 28 KOs), 33, returned on Aug. 24 and outpointed Willbeforce Shihepo in an uneven performance but was then installed as Stieglitz's mandatory challenger.
"Stieglitz stated in the press that he will have one more fight in 2013, which will be a voluntary defense on Oct. 19," Abraham said. "That means to me that I won't be able to regain the world title before 2014. But I need to stay focused and ready. That is why I am fighting on Oct. 26.
"This is going to be a good chance to up my game compared to my last fight against Shihepo in August. Although I am risking my mandatory status, this challenge will give me confidence ahead of a third meeting with Stieglitz."
Stieglitz (45-3, 26 KOs), 32, of Germany, followed his win against Abraham with a 10th-round knockout of Japan's Yuzo Kiyota on July 13 and is scheduled to make his second defense against Isaac Ekpo (22-1, 16 KOs) of Nigeria on Oct. 19 in Leipzig, Germany.
If Stieglitz and Abraham both come through their upcoming bouts, it is likely that the mandatory will be ordered and that they would meet again in early 2014.
As far as who Abraham will fight on Oct. 26, it is unclear.
"We cannot name the opponent just yet as we are in negotiations with three ranked contenders," said Hagen Doering of Sauerland Event. "All I can say is that it will definitely be a true test for Abraham."