Arthur Abraham has become WBO super middleweight champion in a unanimous decision over fellow German Robert Stieglitz. Abraham defended his middleweight title 10 times between 2005 and 2009 before moving up a class.
Stieglitz, the champion for the past three years, suffered heavy bruising and cuts around both eyes in the punishing title bout, but Abraham was left relatively unmarked en route to the 116-112, 116-112, 115-113 decision. "King Arthur" is now 35-3 in his career, with 27 knockouts. This is the third loss for Stieglitz in 45 fights.
"This is an emotional moment for me and it's hard to describe how I feel," Abraham said. "I always wanted to be the middleweight world champion and now I am the super middleweight champion too. I trained hard for this and I had to box cleverly against such a good champion."
Abraham had a tough fight against Piotr Wilczewski to hang on to his European WBO title in March, but was back in top form for Saturday's bout in Berlin.
Stieglitz's face showed marking by the fifth round, and Abraham was able to drop his guard and lure in the champion to deliver hard shots. By the start of the 12th round, Abraham could confidently raise his fists for the Berlin crowd.
Another German, WBA super middleweight and IBF middleweight title-holder Felix Sturm, had announced before the fight that he would take on the winner.
mkg/pfd (AFP, dpa)