By Jason Kim: WBA World middleweight champion Felix Sturm (36-2-2, 15 KO’s) will be trying to hold onto his World Boxing Association title on Friday night against fellow German Sebastian Zbik (30-1, 10 KO’s) in a fairly evenly matched fight at the Lanxess Arena, in Cologne, Germany. The fight is evenly matched, but it’s probably going to require that Zbik put in an exceptional performance to escape with a win.
Sturm is simply unbeatable by decision. You can dominate him, but you’ll probably have to settle for a draw for your efforts. That’s about the best a fighter can get from Sturm nowadays when they take him on in Germany. Zbik has an advantage against other challengers, though, and that’s because he’s German. However, he doesn’t have the jab or the power to top Sturm if he’s fighting at full strength all night.
Sturm has had some close calls in fights against Matthew Macklin and Martin Murray recently. Zbik is right up there with those guys; maybe a little worse than them given his lack of power and stamina. Zbik lost his WBC middleweight title to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last year in June when Zbik ran of gas in a fight he was very competitive in for the first six rounds.
Zbik can’t fade against Sturm, because he’ll get jabbed into submission. He’s got to be able to fight hard for 12 rounds, and most importantly, he’s got to be able to put constant pressure on Sturm to try to wear him down.
Zbik hasn’t fought since the Chavez Jr. defeat last year, and that could be a good thing. Zbik has had plenty of time to rest from the punishment he took against Chavez Jr. and he should be able to do well against Sturm. He doesn’t have to worry about facing an opponent weighing 180 pounds against Sturm, because he’s a legitimate middleweight and not a cruiserweight somehow finding a way to melt down to 160 the day before his fights.