In a shocking upset this afternoon in Hamburg, Germany, former WBA Light Middleweight Champ Javier Castillejo (best known for his losses to Vargas and De La Hoya) scored a 10th round TKO over Felix Sturm, becoming the new WBA Middleweight Champ. Sturm, of course, is best known in the States for his controversial decision loss to Oscar de La Hoya in 2004. Following the De La Hoya fight, which many people thought he'd won, Sturm passed up the opportunity to make some big bucks fighting in the States, opting instead to return to Europe. There, he had won five consecutive fights since the DLH fiasco, in the process picking up the WBA Middleweight Title.
Castillejo, who is getting up there at 38 years of age, came into this fight as a huge underdog. Though he had shown quite a chin in his two marquee fights against Vargas and DLH, going the distance in both, he was utterly dominated by the Mexican-Americans. Likewise, he was not expected to pose many problems for the defensive-minded Sturm, who has a style somewhat similar to Winky Wright's.
If Jermain Taylor is still seeking a so-called "safe" opponent for his next fight, then Castillejo---who has a crowd-pleasing style and a recognizable name, not to mention a world title---could be just the ticket. At 38 years of age, the Spaniard doesn't have much time to waste. He has shown to be a warrior, never shying away from competition, and fighting his biggest fights on the road (Sturm in Germany; Boudouani in France; Vargas and DLH in Vegas). For a nice payday, and for one last shot at greatness, he seems like a guy who just might be willing to take his title belt to Little Rock, Arkansas...
He'd be a far better opponent than Sergio Mora, for one thing.