Sebastian Zbik will get a chance to win another title on April 13 against Felix Sturm. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Felix Sturm has found his opponent for his next fight in Germany on April 13. Sturm will defend his WBA middleweight title against countryman Sebastian Zbik, choosing Zbik over Andy Lee, who was rumored to be closing in on a deal to face Sturm.
Sturm (36-2-2, 15 KO) had three fights in 2011, going 2-0-1 on the year with a pair of very good fights, both controversial. In February 2011, he easily disposed of non-contender Ronald Hearns in a predictable fight that saw the son of legendary Thomas Hearns overwhelmed and grossly overmatched.
In June, Sturm escaped a great fight against Matthew Macklin with a close points win, and in December, he had a very entertaining draw with another Brit middleweight, Martin Murray.
Zbik (30-1, 10 KO) suffered the first loss of his pro career in his only fight last year, dropping a close points decision to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in June. That ended Zbik's short and bogus reign as the WBC's middleweight titleholder, an honor bestowed upon him when the sanctioning body ridiculously stripped Sergio Martinez, then made some kind of devil's pact with HBO and Top Rank to put the strap on Chavez without Junior having to face Sergio.
As for Andy Lee, he was recently scheduled for the March 17 card in New York headlined by Martinez vs Macklin, and was going to be in the TV co-feature. He was televised twice last year on Martinez undercards, defeating Craig McEwan in a slugfest in March, and then topping Brian Vera in October.
Promoter Lou DiBella, who made Lee available for the Sturm fight, said he's not upset or surprised by Sturm's decision:
"They were very straight with me and told me all along that Andy was one of two fighters in contention for the fight, and I had a feeling that Zbik was getting it, so it doesn't surprise me. Now Andy will probably have a keep-busy fight in the interim, while we look for other opportunities."
Lee (27-1, 19 KO) could very well face the winner of Martinez vs Macklin, as all are promoted by DiBella and Lee is chomping at the bit for a big fight. That would be the easiest one to make.