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Sturm Annihilates Pittman

Felix SturmBy Erik Schmidt: WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm (29-2-1, 13 KOs) had a ridiculously easy time beating #12th ranked challenger Australian Jamie Pittman (16-1, 7 KOs) by a 7th round TKO on Saturday night at the Burg-Waecheter Castello, in Dusseldor, Nordrhein, Germany. Pittman, 26, was knocked down three times in the fight, the last time in the 7th at which time the referee Russell Mora put a stop the hopeless mismatch at 0:36 of the 7th round.

Pittman was perhaps the worst #12th ranked fighter I’ve ever laid eyes on, which was likely the reason he was chose in the first place by Sturm.

Pittman was clearly not as good as his ranking indicated, as he showed few skills in the bout and didn’t appear to even know how to punch properly. Sturm, 29, I suppose was in need of an easy win after having fought a life and death battle in his last fight against #1 challenger Randy Griffin who fought Sturm to a draw, although most people saw Griffin as having easily won the fight. That wouldn’t be the situation with Pittman, who looked completely outclassed as early as the first round when it became clear that he didn’t have the offensive skills to compete against a fighter of Sturm’s caliber.

Pittman showed that he was little more than an arm puncher, one with little power at that. Instead of following through with his shots, Pittman would flick them almost like jabs to the point where Sturm was standing, rather than punching though his target. This made it very easy for Sturm to pick off Pittman’s punches with his gloves. In fact, Sturm put on a virtual clinic in how to block punches from Pittman, blocking roughly 90% of his weak arms punches in the first – and every round until the bitter end in the 7th.

For his part, Sturm stayed busy landing his excellent jab and mixing in right hands and left uppercuts to the head of Pittman. The fight should have been stopped at the end of the first because Pittman was more of an amateur than a true professional and didn’t belong in the same ring with Sturm.

Pittman began to show swelling under his right eye in the 2nd round, no doubt due to the steady diet of hard jabs he was eating from Sturm. Pittman continued with his inept punching, throwing arms shots that were all but a few blocked by Sturm. The only shots that Sturm didn’t bother blocking, as far as I could tell, were wild ones by Pittman which missed by a mile. After the end of the round, Pittman had words with Sturm. I’m not precisely sure why, because Pittman should have mad at himself for fighting so poorly.

Sturm punished Pittman in rounds three and four, hitting him with brutal uppercuts and hard hooks to the head. Sturm continued punishing Pittman with his jab, of course, and there was nothing that Pittman could do to deal with it. Pittman, to his credit, kept firing his arm punches even though they were all getting blocked. I felt that he should have made some adjustments in order to start landing at least a few of the punches, but he didn’t appear to have the skills to make adjustments with his style – or lack thereof.

In the 5th round, Sturm dropped Pittman with a powerful left hook to his midsection. Pittman got up at the count of eight and immediately started attacking Sturm as if he were the one hurt rather than the reverse. Pittman waved his left hand in the air to the crowd as if saying that he was okay. He wasn’t though. Sturm continued to pound him for the remainder of the round, hitting him with double hooks, straight rights and making him look really bad. In between rounds, Pittman looked like a survivor of a train wreck. His right eye was now completely closing, giving him only limited vision of a squint. His corner should have stopped at this point because he didn’t have the power to knock out Sturm and really should have called it a day.

It really began to get ugly in the 6th round as Sturm once again knocked Pittman down, landing a left to his side and sending him to the canvas. By this point, Pittman was no longer throwing his pitiful arm punches and had turned into an essentially a punching bag for Sturm. Pittman ended up getting hit an awful lot in the round and seemed to be blocking most of the punches with his face which looked reddened from the numerous shots he was absorbing from Sturm. Pittman’s right eye was now completely closed and he was forced to fight with only one eye, and wasn’t able to see punches coming in at him. In between rounds, the referee took a good look at Pittman and seemed poised to stop the fight but let it continue, but it was clear that he was going to stop it shortly unless Pittman did something dramatic like scoring a knockout.

Sturm wasted little time in the 7th round, blocking a couple of futile arm punches from the disparate Pittman, before mowing him down with a big left hand – the third knockdown of the fight. This time, the referee immediately put a stop to the fight.
A good win for Sturm, though not exactly as impressive as it could be given the soft opponent. Hopefully, he doesn’t make it a practice of fighting 12th ranked fighters, because he’s had few appealing fights in his career up to this point and really needs to consider fighting a top fighter like Joe Greene or Winky Wright. If Sturm wants’ to continue fighting easy opponents, then I wouldn’t mind seeing him fight John Duddy. That would at least be somewhat interesting since Duddy at least knows how to punch.

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