Robert Stieglitz will face Arthur Abraham next, likely on August 25. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Robert Stieglitz retained his WBO super middleweight title on Saturday over Nader Hamdan, part of the Huck vs Afolabi card in Erfurt, Germany, and reports now are that Stieglitz will make his mandatory defense against Arthur Abraham on August 25 in Germany. An exact location has not been chosen yet.
Stieglitz (42-2, 23 KO) was supposed to face British champion George Groves, but Groves backed out of the fight with an injury, and as a result had his status as mandatory challenger revoked by the WBO, which then inserted Abraham as mandatory challenger. Stieglitz faced Hamdan, a rather lousy alternative who is more journeyman than contender, and won as expected.
Abraham (34-3, 27 KO) has seen his star fade the last couple of years, the result of a wildly disappointing showing in Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic. After knocking out Jermain Taylor in Stage One of the round robin portion, he lost three straight pretty badly to Andre Dirrell (DQ-11), Carl Froch (UD-12), and Andre Ward (UD-12).
But he's still a name fighter in Germany, and he's won two straight this year, beating Pablo Farias and Piotr Wilczewski. At that level, Abraham is still good. He will never be a truly elite fight, and probably never really was, but Stieglitz isn't elite, either. It's a well-matched fight that happens to be for a world title, basically.
Actually, who are you favoring in this one? Name value says to favor Abraham, but I'm honestly not so sure he's actually better than Stieglitz anymore. It's closer to a toss-up than I might have expected it to be a year ago.