For almost six years now, Germany's Felix Sturm has been near the top of the middleweight standings. His biggest fight came in one of his two career losses, as then-WBO titlist Sturm came to Las Vegas to face Oscar de la Hoya in the "Golden Boy's" first 160-pound fight.
We all know the story of that bout, as I'd say now a majority of people believe Sturm won the fight against the pudgy, out-of-shape Oscar. Since then, though, what has he done?
Sturm's been back to work in Germany since the June 2004 loss to de la Hoya, and in recent times, he and his management team have called out fellow German world titleholder Arthur Abraham, only to never strike a deal. He currently has a credible mandatory challenger in Anthony Mundine (Sturm now holds the WBA title).
But instead of fighting Abraham (which is a two-way street of not happenin') or Mundine, who says he wants the fight immediately, Sturm and his promoters have dug down deep to match the WBA titleholder with Japan's Koji Sato (14-0, 13 KO).
Sato's knockout rate is great, but he hasn't fought anybody, and doesn't deserve a world title shot, period. This is not the first time in recent years Sturm has pulled this act, either. In 2007 he fought Noe Alcoba, who was unheard of, and then followed that up by fighting unknown American Randy Griffin (going to a hard-fought draw in a good fight) and inexperienced Aussie Jamie Pittman (he stopped Pittman in seven). Griffin got a rematch, which Sturm won, and then Sturm beat Sebastian Sylvester by a wide margin. It was Sturm's first truly notable win since regaining the WBA title from Javier Castillejo, the only man besides Oscar to hold a win over him.
Sturm (31-2-1, 13 KO) will face Sato on April 25 in Krefeld, Germany, and no one will care. It's just another gimme defense for Sturm, of which he's already had more than enough to last a while. It's a joke of a defense.