Dmitry Pirog Doesn't Expect Unification Fight With Felix Sturm

Felix Sturm says he wants to fight Dmitry Pirog, but Pirog isn't buying it. (Photos by Ethan Miller/Getty Images and Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Felix Sturm has recently discussed potentially unifying his WBA middleweight title with the WBO belt held by Dmitry Pirog, but Pirog says he doesn't expect that will happen, and feels that Sturm is trying to use his name for PR purposes. From Ruslan Chikov at BoxingScene.com:

"Those [words from Sturm are] for the public, nothing more. The German is certainly aware of our negotiations with Geale, so he's bluffing. Most likely, Sturm is trying to earn points with his audience. I am 100% convinced that a unification bout with Felix will not take place in the foreseeable future."

Pirog (19-0, 15 KO) will face Nobuhiro Ishida on May 1 in Moscow, and there have been real talks for Pirog to face IBF titlist Daniel Geale on HBO this fall. HBO needs to create known fighters for Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr to face, and Pirog and Geale are both deserving of the chance to earn their way into one of those fights. (One could easily argue they're already more deserving of a fight with Martinez or Chavez than the guys fighting Martinez and Chavez).

Hopefully, Pirog vs Geale does happen. Sturm's WBA mandatory is Gennady Golovkin, but he has been for a while and nothing has happened. Sturm is a WBA favorite; when a guy is in good with a sanctioning body, he gets leeway. Look at Chavez, who was supposed to fight Martinez months ago and hasn't, with no serious indication that he ever will, while the WBC constantly says "oh he'll be stripped for sure" but never does anything but talk.

The main reason I want Pirog-Geale to happen is that it's a good fight. I don't feel comfortable assuming either of them would really get a shot at Sergio or Chavez with a win.

Sturm vs Pirog does seem unlikely. Sturm also paid lip service to fighting a rematch with Matthew Macklin last year, but did not, and the same happened with Martin Murray. Instead of those guys, he scheduled an easier fight with Sebastian Zbik, who he dominated on April 13.

Hope for Pirog-Geale and don't worry much about where Sturm fits in. Sturm promotes himself and is one of the better-paid fighters in the sport because of that and the fact that his fights draw crowds.

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