Felix Sturm was simply too good, too smart, and too physically strong for challenger Sebastian Zbik today in Cologne, Germany, winning after Zbik's corner threw in the towel after the ninth round of a fight that had gotten increasingly one-sided.
Sturm led 88-83 on the Bad Left Hook scorecard after nine rounds, losing the first two rounds, with the second round being clearly in Zbik's favor, but taking over for good starting in the fourth frame. Once Sturm got his jab established, he was able to boss the fight with relative ease, as the game but frankly average Zbik just didn't have the punching power or the stamina required to beat the veteran titleholder, who made the 12th defense of the WBA title he won in 2007 with this victory (10-0-2 in those fights).
Sturm (37-2-2, 16 KO) mixed in good uppercuts and right hands, and occasionally dug in with some good body work, too. After a fast start, Zbik (30-2, 10 KO) was simply outclassed, getting marked up and at times truly dominated and battered. His hand speed troubled Sturm early, but didn't hold. Once Sturm got on a roll, Zbik had no answers, and was unable to adjust to solid pressure and heavy shots from the defending titleholder.
It was certainly Sturm's best performance in his last three fights, and probably a more realistic look at Zbik for those who had only seen him against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, which might really have been Zbik's best night. In both bouts, Zbik had some stamina issues, but this time he just didn't hold up all the way. Had he made it through 12, though, the result was clear: Sturm was going to win this one widely, and all Zbik was going to be able to accomplish was saying he made it through 12.
On the undercard, heavyweight Denis Boytsov stayed unbeaten with a routine decision win over failed American prospect Dominick Guinn, winning on scores of 100-90, 100-90, and 99-91. Boytsov improves to 31-0 (25), while Guinn falls to 33-9-1 (22).