Robert Stieglitz vs. Yuzo Kiyota on July 13th in Dresden, Germany
By Eric Thomas: WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz (44-3, 25 KO’s) has decided to play it safe in his optional defense of his WBO 168 lb. title by facing little known #10 WBO contender Yuzo Kiyota (23-3-1, 21 KO’s) on July 13th at the Energie Verbund-Arena in Dresden, Sachsen, Germany.
Kiyota, 29, has fought all of his fights in Japan during his 11-year pro career mainly against local opposition. He did face American Jameson Bostic three years ago and was knocked out in the 1st round by the 6’5” southpaw.
Kiyota has since won his last four fights, albeit against weak opposition like the ones that he’s faced most of his career.
The WBO is the only sanctioning body that has Kiyota ranked in their top 15 at this time. That’s not a good sign because it frequently means that the fighter has an inflated ranking. We could be seeing a mismatch on July 13th when Stieglitz faces Kiyota.
Stieglitz, 31, recently recaptured his World Boxing Organization title by beating Arthur Abraham by a 4th round TKO last March after the fight was halted due to Abraham’s swollen left eye which had completely closed from the punishment he took from Stieglitz.
If Stieglitz is able to get past Kiyota, he’ll likely be expected to defend his title against his #1 WBO mandatory challenger George Groves. Stieglitz can’t put that defense off indefinitely because the WBO will strip him if he doesn’t face his mandatory.
Stieglitz previously held the WBO 168 lb. title from 2009 to 2012 before losing it to Abraham by a 12 round unanimous decision. Stieglitz worked on his strength after the loss to Abraham and came back with the perfect strategy in how to beat him in their rematch last March by going all out in throwing punch after punch. Abraham has a bad habit of covering up while his opponents throw shots instead of looking to counter them. Stieglitz took advantage of this by throwing nonstop punches for three rounds until the fight was halted in the fourth.
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