Felix Sturm will likely fight again on April 12 in Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)
WBA middleweight titlist Felix Sturm will likely make his return to the ring on Friday, April 13, in Germany, according to Ruslan Chikov, who reports that German TV station Sat.1 has set aside that date for a Sturm return.
Chikov also says that Daniel Geale and Dmitry Pirog are "leading candidates," but quite frankly they aren't, so just ignore thoes rumors. Geale, who holds the IBF title, is fighting on February 29 at home in Australia. And Pirog, the WBO beltholder, does make sense, but probably will balk at going to Germany, and Sturm won't go to Russia, so the smart money is on forgetting about either of those fights.
Sturm, who turns 33 next month, had a pair of very entertaining fights this year, winning a close split decision over Matthew Macklin in June, and then drawing with Martin Murray in early December. Sturm also beat the crap out of Ronald Hearns in February, but that wasn't very entertaining.
The absolute best possible fight, I think, would be the WBA finally mandating that Sturm face Gennady Golovkin (22-0, 19 KO), who holds their "regular" title. It would be a pretty big step up in class for Golovkin, but he's a serious talent offensively and I believe the style matchup makes for a potential Fight of the Year candidate. Sturm has slipped to the point that he makes for really good fights when the opponent has the talent to make him fight, and Golovkin is the right guy for that job. Combined with Golovkin's indifference to defense, Sturm's strengths and weaknesses match up there for a potentially great fight.
But don't expect that either, probably. Expect something lesser. Martin Murray deserves a rematch but probably won't get it. The middleweight division has a lot of fringe contender types who could make for a good fight with Sturm but wont' be serious risks, and something like that is most likely. That or another Ronald Hearns-type gimme after two straight tough ones.