In the interests of disclosure, I should say at the outset that I'm only writing this because I need something to read about this Saturday's super middleweight fight. Let this be a lesson to BLH.
Also, pardon the long preamble; I have no idea where it came from, so I just went with it. I don't really know what it has to do with anything either. But, at least now I have something to read.
Arthur Abraham is not a guy who I think has fared well in recent years, especially since the Super Six, except if we limit ourselves to the US audience, and that includes me (if there's another piece of the US audience out there, then write your own stuff). He did wonderfully well from 2003 to 2009, fighting people I'd mostly never heard of in lovely European places I'd mostly never heard of, except for those some travel agent might have told me to put on a bucket list and just get to, for god's sake, before it's too late. Then came the Super 6, not to be confused with the economy motel, and he was "King Arthur," with the mythomania that we can all aspire to in the absence of evidence, and the carefully selected video clips that previous "living myths" were too dead, too long ago, to benefit from. Like King Arthur, for example. Or the Green Knight, although I still harbor some doubts about him, especially regarding the decapitations. Pix, or it didn't happen.
Boy, he looked good. Careful, crafty, patient, very quasi-orthodox, no flash just substance thank you very much. I loved it. The Eastern Europeans, the dismal and suffering castoffs of the laughably (except for all the dead people there) inept consequences of the seemingly endless Cold War, had suddenly become the ripened fruits of this tortured social engineering, and they would finally make good here in the sunlight. Like the Klitschkos, who are very much like King Arthur in ways that are too complicated to go into here, but should be obvious.
So, I watched. He would be fighting Americans, which was the whole point of boxing, as we all know. Boy, was he a stinker. DQ'd in the most blatant manner against Dirrell, lost to Froch (who, besides being alarmingly good, I know is British, and therefore European, but of the Western persuasion, so that doesn't really count, kind of like the French but pleasanter, or the West Germans, who have been very nice for such a long time; I really can't think of anyone else at the moment, but my point is clear. Americanish, is what I'm saying); TKO'd someone named Bozic (my computer won't let me make all those funny diacritical marks, but they don't really mean anything), and then got trounced by Ward.
He had a couple pf other fights after that, but who the hell cares?
So, settling into his European boxing retirement home, Abraham fought Robert Stieglitz on Saturday. I won't go into Stieglitz very much, frankly because I don't know what he's really doing here to begin with, although I will say that he has a nice boxing style against the rock-like citadel that is either Eastern Europe in general, or Abraham in particular, either one. I will say, however, that since I think that the hope of American boxing lies in Europe (preferably as easterly as possible, although some points more westerly may do, say Nottingham or Manchester, and you can go ahead and nominate others in the comments, if there are any), I was interested to see just how abysmally bad Abraham was, and how much of a laughing stock we'd all made of ourselves fawning over him prior to the Econolodge affair. And Stieglitz, who I have to remind myself was also in the ring last night, is a nice boxer and a champion of something. I'm not.
So, here, without editing or pretty words, is my roughly round-by-round assessment of the Steiglitz (I should have mentioned, he was actually some kind of champion in this fight and so should be mentioned first)-Abraham (who used to be a champion of some kind, but isn't now, so should go second). I say "roughly," because I may have missed a few things when I passed out (briefly; nothing serious).
WARNING: THIS IS UNEDITED. BE CAREFUL. DO NOT READ ALOUD.
Ring announcements. Stieglitz looks nervous, but hard to tell compared to Abraham, who just looks like a hitman on another job. I won't make any comments about Cortiz.
Rd 1: Abraham very focused, some hard rights, Stieglitz moving and boxing, looks unsettled through the first half. Abraham showing a lot of initiative, more offense and not much emphasis on defense. Stieglitz settles down toward the end of the round, Abraham manages a hard left. Abraham looking for power shots, Stieglitz trying to box. Almost all Abraham.
Rd 2: Stieglitz starts strong, looking settled, throwing good combinations. Abraham looking unimaginative already. Stieglitz outboxing Abraham against the ropes, hitting with body shots as well as combinations. Abraham nails Stieglitz with a right to the body, Stieglitz swarms over Abraham at the end. Overwhelming Stieglitz round.
Stieglitz 10-9, 19-19
Between rounds, the physicist MIchio Kaku sits down next to a blond who someday hopes to be picked out of a crowd, a weirdly Britney Spears-esque girl with strawberry licorice colored hair, and a blond Demi Moore. That's why people become physicists. Along with the money and fame, of course.
Rd 3: Stieglitz jumps out at Abraham, hitting him with lefts and right without much answer, but Abraham is starting to look like a block of concrete. Abraham throws a few flicking jabs, Stieglitz circling to his left and doing most of the fighting. Abraham throws a hard right and misses, Stieglitz spins him around and counters. Stieglitz with a good combo ending with a hard right, Abraham just follows, throwing occasionally. S is showing 10 times more skill, but A is snapping S's head back when he lands. S has no apparent effect. S with right hands to the body, some cuffing, right uppercut attempt. A swarms, S hits behind the head, gets a reminder from Cortez.A comes back from the break with a hard right from range, hey these guys are fighting! A chasing S, S evading and throwing back combinations.
S 10-9 S 29-28.
This must be either Russian or American TV (with funny accents); there are no ringside shots of hot girls. Actually, it must be Russian.
Rd 4: They square off in the center. S has to move more. He throws a good straight right, but A nails him with a left-right. S is still toe-to-toe, though. Center ring jab trading now. S tries an overhand right, blocked. S starts to take the initiative, throws a. A has begun to turtle up in that defense.
WOW! Right to body by A followed by right to head, S is hurt. Really hurt, twisting his body around to evade punches. AS chases, then lets him off the hook, goes back to jabbing. Two more rights to the head by A, S is managing to move and stay away. S returning shots, A has backed off. S chases A for the last few seconds.
A 10-9, 38-38.
Between rounds, S doesn't look very good. Meanwhile, A reminds me of the poster I saw (someone find it, I don't know how to embed pictures) captioned "Hit monkey takes no joy in his work." A looks as uninvolved emotionally. He also doesn't look like anyone has hit him yet.
Rd 5: S just jumps at A, driving him into the ropes. A turtles up, then drops his hands when it's over and invites some more. A stands against the ropes with his hands down, S with a lot of body movement, looking for an opening. S whaled away for the the first half of the round, now they're in the center of the ring and A is starting to answer back. Some brief headlocks, Cortez tries to get into the action, now separates them. They clinch, and Cortez calls them to the center of the ring to complain. All good now. S still throwing first, but hitting nothing of consequence. Except a left to the body right there. A with a big right, he just looks for that. Another right by A, and a left, S against the ropes, another right, S is in trouble. S moves away, has his feet, A lands another right, but S is taking it well. S fighting back with jabs, covering, and some body shots. He has no power, but he can fight.
A 10-9 A 48-47.
Rd 6: Both cautious to start,. S goes to work again. A throws some good jabs through S's guard, S with a left to the body. A watching with his hands down, S trying to come in. S is moving and boxing, A is like a cement pillar, now A throws a right to the body. A throws two more rights to the head, both land I think. A launches left-right combinations, but reaching. GOOD right uppercut by S, but A comes back battering S.
I originally thought S had that round, but I just looked at it again after reading my notes, and I think it was A.
A 10-9, A 58-56.
Between rounds, S looks battered. A looks like the dispassionate Hitmonkey.
Rd 7: Cautious first few seconds, but S has A on the ropes again. Several L-Rs by S, now they're in the center of the ring, low activity, I think they're both getting a little gassed. S attacks again, eats a couple of combinations for his efforts, knocks A off balance with a left, or maybe A felt that a bit, because he tied up (he dopes that anyway, so it's hard to tell). S really nailing A now with shots to the head and a left to the body in the center of the ring, A looks droopy. A hits S with a good, not great, right, but it got felt. S is fighting, though, and he's got this round unless a miracle happens.
S 10-9, A 67-66.
Between rounds. Holy shit, that woman has to be at least 70 years old, in a pink dress with pink lipstick and lips pumped full of pigfat. With her billionaire husband, who's now explaining something to her, maybe how lightbulbs are changed by the little people.
Shouting at A in his corner. Maybe abut starting each round sooner than the 1:30 mark.
Rd 8: S all over A again, that's the pattern. S whales away in the corner, A takes it and doesn't seem to care, shrugs his shoulders, S shrugs back, S invites A to get off the damned ropes, Cortez jumps in to put an end to the sign language. Now A fights back a little sooner, S getting caught with A's jab when he tries to move in to trap him on the ropes, which I suppose is marginally different from what's happened until now. Hey, A is really after S now, landing some good shots!
S 10-9, 76-76
Rd 9: S starts the ball rolling again, boxes well as long as what he's fighting doesn't hit back. A using his jab well in the center of the ring, keeping S away, S has A in a corner again, slams away at elbows and gloves. S's face looks a little pulped, A looks like he did before the bell for round one. S landing, pushing A into the ropes again. It's hard to believe that anything S is landing is having any real effect. S lands a good right, it just comes and goes. A finally starts to fight back but way too late.
S 10-9, 86-85.
Rd 10:Round starts with neither fighter jumping into it, circling and feinting mostly. S wakes up, attacks again. A lands some good shots in the center, S answers. A seems a little more aggressive, but neither one is very ambitious. Cut now over S's right eye.
A 10-9, 95-95.
Rd 11: Anther quick start for S, lays more pain on A's gloves, A shrugs and smiles. S is a game, game fighter. A off the ropes, unloading now. Center of the ring, throwing for the sake of it whether anything lands or not. This has settled into an almost unbearable pattern of tedium. A stalking S, landing some very good shots, S seemed lost for a bit.
A 10-9, A 105-104.
Rd 12: Thank God. Even pace, neither seems to have a fire lit under him. A real back and forth, S in control for a few seconds, then A. A looks like he's dominating, although he takes the time to dance around and goad the crowd. S then traps him on the ropes.
A 10-9, A 116-113.
That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.