Robert Stieglitz UD-12 Henry Weber
Stieglitz (41-2, 23 KO) retained his WBO super middleweight belt on scores of 119-109, 118-110 and 116-112 over Weber (15-1-1, 3 KO), a 23-year-old German prospect of little major potential. This was simply a tune-up for Stieglitz, an optional defense before he faces Mikkel Kessler on April 14 in Copenhagen. Stieglitz, 30, has become a better a fighter in the last few years, but if Kessler is sharp in April, I give Stieglitz little chance to win that fight.
Arthur Abraham TKO-5 Pablo Farias
Abraham (33-3, 27 KO) had spoken about going back to middleweight, but he didn't do it for this rust-shaker, which was fought at super middleweight. Farias (19-2, 11 KO) wasn't a serious challenge or anything, but I find myself very interested in where Abraham goes next. With Sauerland, he'll have title opportunities at 160 or 168 if he wants to do that; an Abraham vs Kessler fight could be a possibility later this year, should Kessler beat Stieglitz. Or he could tread water and rebuild his brand name for a little while. He's very popular in Germany, as best I can tell, and would have business reasons to do just that.
Kubrat Pulev RTD-9 Michael Sprott
Sprott (36-18, 17 KO) is in a weird career spot at this point. I think he's hoping for another heavyweight Prizefighter so he can compete, since he's been in two (winning one) since his miracle KO loss to Audley Harrison in April 2010. But here he was matched with Pulev (15-0, 7 KO), one of the better prospects in the division. Pulev has a few pretty decent wins -- Derric Rossy, Travis Walker, Sprott -- but nothing major yet, and he's 30 years old.
Dustin Dirks TKO-4 Sam Couzens
Dirks, 22, is a middleweight prospect who isn't really progressing much. Now 23-0 (17 KO), Dirks is still fighting guys he should frankly be beyond (and he is). I've had some disagreements about Dirks' potential with some in the past during live threads and the like. Some people think he's really not any good at all and has no future. I say there's an outside shot he could win a super cheap paper title someday.
Shoji Kimura SD-10 Ryol Li Lee
Lee (18-3-1, 9 KO) has now lost two of three since upsetting Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym for the WBA 122-pound belt back in October 2010, but this was scored very tight -- 97-95, 96-95 and 95-96 for Kimura (24-4-2, 9 KO). It's the first win for the 34-year-old Kimura in two and a half years; worth noting this was also his first fight since May 2010.
Undercard: Motoki Sasaki UD-8 Roel Laguna, Masafumi Otake MD-8 Masahide Shinabi, Tetsuma Hayashi UD-8 Yasuhiro Sakurai.
Shane McPhilbin TKO-12 Leon Williams
McPhilbin (8-2, 5 KO) is the new British cruiserweight champ with this upset win. It was quite a little story, as the 26-year-old from Nottinghamshire came in on three weeks' notice and was clearly losing the fight, totally gassed by the sixth round or so, and just came out firing in the 12th round. He knocked down Williams (9-4, 4 KO) with a shot behind the ear, which pretty much finished Williams off. He was sent down again moments later, and then knocked into the ropes for the stoppage just after that as he tried to survive. It was fun to watch develop and it's very easy to get caught up in the emotion, and I'm quite happy for McPhilbin because it was a great moment. If I'm honest, I doubt McPhilbin ever makes a successful title defense, but forget that -- this was great fun and it was nice to get caught up in someone's moment.
Sam Sexton TD-5 Larry Olubamiwo
Sexton won a 49-48 referee's card after the action was stopped in the fifth due to a pretty nasty cut on Sexton, which came in the fourth on a headbutt. Sexton is now 15-2 (6 KO), with Olubamiwo dropping to 10-3 (9 KO).
Undercard: Bradley Skeete PTS-8 Michael Frontin, Najah Ali PTS-6 Michael Maguire, Peter McDonagh PTS-6 Jason Nesbitt.
Tijuana, Mexico: Alejandro Lopez (23-2, 7 KO) defeated Jose Palma (15-5-2, 10 KO) via UD-12. Lopez handed Teon Kennedy his first loss last August.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Javier Maciel (21-2, 15 KO) won an easy TKO-1 on Friday night.
Las Vegas, Nevada: Teon Kennedy and Chris Martin went to a ho-hum sort of draw in a 122-pound main event, and Yordenis Ugas was on snooze control in the co-feature. Read the full recap of Friday Night Fights.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada: If I could be serious for a moment... Janks Trotter (7-1-1, 7 KO) suffered his first loss, to fellow Albertan Adam Trupish (10-0, 7 KO), losing by TKO-1 at 1:12.
Kanchanaburi, Thailand: Veteran junior welterweight Prawet Singwancha (46-3-2, 27 KO) won again in a six-rounder, and Wisanu Kokietgym (40-8-2, 12 KO) retained the interim PABA junior flyweight title over a guy who is now 4-9-1.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Farah Ennis and Miguel Cartagena won a couple club fights, and so did some other club fighters. Tim Witherspoon Jr lost to fall to 6-2-1 (2 KO).