Saturday Afternoon Notes: Arthur Abraham vacates title

Arthur Abraham vacated his IBF middleweight title, making his move to 168 pounds official. (via www.hyefighters.com)

Sauerland Event sent out a press release stating that Arthur Abraham is in New York this weekend, both to take place in July 13's super middleweight tournament press conference and return his IBF middleweight title belt to the sanctioning body.

Abraham said, "[S]ince neither Felix Sturm nor Kelly Pavlik wanted to get in the ring with me, I had to move on."

There is a pretty big middleweight fight today, as Sturm will defend his WBA title in Germany against Khoren Gevor, a solid pro and former Abraham opponent.

  • Chris Henry got his career back on track and knocked Shaun George's the hell off of them with a pretty nasty sixth round TKO last night in Philadelphia. George dented Henry early, but even in his lesser performances, Henry has shown a pretty sturdy chin, and it seemed to get to George that he seemingly couldn't hurt his opponent. Sort of a "weeding-out" fight in a lot of ways.
  • In another press release, 140-pound titlist Andriy Kotelnik says he's discovered the secrets of how his boxing idols, Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, punch so hard, and that he's going to knock out Amir Khan on July 18. After he does that, he wants to fight Ricky Hatton.
  • Dave Larzelere of The Sporting News rains on the 168-pound tournament parade a little bit, wondering if the tournament's purpose is not to crown an undisputed champion, what is its purpose? I think he's right to worry that this thing will never actually finish, that fighters might drop out or it could drag on past the point of great interest. But, if I had to guess what the real purpose is, it's this: Make good fights. Get people watching the good fights. People like tournaments and playoffs because they give the illusion of crowning The Man or The Team at the end. Crowning an undisputed SMW champ is possible, though if Lucian Bute keeps going strong outside the tournament, it's not probable. People are excited because the lineup is awesome and it's taking place for the betterment of boxing, if only on the level that more people will potentially watch it on Showtime thanks to the concept.
  • Belfast boxer John Caldwell, a 1956 Olympic bronze medalist, passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was 71 years old.
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