Juergen Braehmer rather easily retained his European light heavyweight title with a points win over Stefan Abatangelo of Italy today, winning on scores of 115-111, 119-108, and 119-108. BLH did not score the fight, because BLH's patience had been tested by what was a brutally dull card overall from Sauerland Event, highlighted so to speak by Kubrat Pulev's win earlier over Tony Thompson.
Braehmer (41-2, 31 KO) and Abatangelo (17-3-1, 6 KO) had a nondescript fight that included a few pretty ugly head clashes, which were arguably the most exciting thing that the fight produced. It was a rather routine matchup on paper and in execution for the 34-year-old Braehmer, who wasn't expected to be seriously tested, and in fact was not seriously tested.
Arthur Abraham looked a faded shadow of his former self, struggling mightily against Namibia's untested and unknown Willbeforce Shihepo, though the judges' scorecards didn't really reflect that. Scores were 116-112, 116-113, and a completely absurd 117-111 from Mickey Vann, a British judge and referee. BLH had it 115-113 for the underdog Shihepo, who landed a good amount of shots and, as many can and will do from here on, outworked Abraham for the majority of the bout.
Abraham (37-4, 28 KO) winning wasn't a terribly unreasonable idea, I suppose, though a total of 7-5 in rounds for him might have been about the very most he deserved. A draw also might have been plenty understandable. But to say that he won eight or nine rounds is really testing believability, in my view. Shihepo (20-7, 15 KO) wasn't supposed to win, so he didn't.
Abraham, now 33, isn't going to beat Robert Stieglitz with a performance like this one. Perhaps he overlooked Shihepo today, but he's just not the fighter he once was, maybe in no small part because guys like Shihepo no longer have any fear of him. He's a very predictable fighter and not one that's particularly hard to prepare for or combat, and his power has never been at 168 what it was at 160.
We already mentioned Pulev over Thompson, so here's what else you may have missed today, not that you're going to be kicking yourself over it.
Enrico Koelling TKO-3 Haris Causevic: This one didn't air on BoxNation, or else I totally missed it, but it sounds as though Koelling (9-0, 2 KO) had no trouble here against Causevic, who drops to 8-1 (5 KO). Koelling, a 2012 German Olympian, has solid boxing ability and may be worth keeping an eye on, but also maybe not, since his power seems limited at best, even with this TKO win.
Dustin Dirks D-8 Tomas Adamek: Dirks (27-1-1, 20 KO) is a Sauerland pet for whatever reason, which makes less and less sense as you seem him fight more often. He's exceptionally basic, doesn't move his head or feet much, and is very, very vulnerable against opponents who have a clue. Adamek (20-9-2, 7 KO) is hardly a world-class fighter, and he managed to overcome a bad cut suffered early to not only keep himself in this fight, but deserve the win in the eyes of the BoxNation commentary team and most watching, including, it seemed, the live audience. Dirks, 24, is just really not very good, and isn't going anywhere. He's like Sauerland's light heavyweight version of heavyweight pretender Edmund Gerber.
Tyron Zeuge UD-8 Nathan King: Wasn't much to this one, either. There were really no good fights on this entire card, with Abraham-Shihepo probably being the best of a sorry lot. Zeuge improves to 9-0 (5 KO).