WBO makes Arthur Abraham mandatory challenger to Stieglitz
By Allan Fox: Former two division world champion Arthur Abraham’s controversial 12 round unanimous decision over Willbeforce Shihepo this month has earned Abraham the mandatory spot to have WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz (45-3m 26 KO’s), according to Kalle Sauerland.
This will be the third fight between them, and it’s surprising that the World Boxing Organization isn’t going to force Stieglitz to face #1 WBO George Groves instead of letting #4 WBO, Abraham leap-frog over Groves, as well as #2 WBO, Lucian Bute, and #3 WBO James DeGale.
WBO Convention news: World Champion Stieglitz must fight Arthur Abraham. New mandatory!! #kingarthur
— Kalle+NisseSauerland (@SauerlandBros) August 29, 2013
Stieglitz beat Abraham in a rematch last March in a 4th round TKO. In Stieglitz’s first title defense of his WBO belt, he defeated little known fringe contender Yuzo Kiyota in a 10th round TKO last July. Stieglitz is now scheduled to fight on October 19th in another optional title defense in Germany.
After that fight, it’s presumed that Stieglitz will then face Abraham again. It seems like the two fighters are going back and forth with each other, and the WBO is letting them instead of forcing the champions to fight other guys.
Abraham’s win over Shihepo on August 24th was a highly questionable win, because Abraham was pretty well outworked by Shihepo to the point where it looked as if was going to be a lopsided win for Shihepo. Instead, the judges gave Abraham a 12 round unanimous decision victory by the scores 116-113, 117-111 and 116-112. Making Abraham the mandatory after a controversial victory like that one seems send the wrong message.
It would have been far better for the WBO to order Abraham to fight Shihepo again, because the victory was too controversial, and the scores too wide for Abraham to be able to walk away from that fight and be made the WBO mandatory for Stieglitz.
It’s going to be interesting to see how long it takes for the loser of the Abraham-Stieglitz fight to be given another change at the title. If all it takes is one fight to get another rematch, like it did with Abraham, then it’s going to be disappointing. Those two fighters could be locked in with one another for ages if the WBO is going to make it this easy for them to keep fighting each other.