It has been nearly two years since we thought Arthur Abraham’s career was over.
It was May, 2011. Abraham was in Carson, California, competing in the semifinals of Showtime’s Super Six tournament. Well, not really competing. Against Andre Ward, Abraham was dismantled over 12 lopsided rounds, shut-out on one judge's scorecard and blown out on two others. It was Abraham’s third straight loss in the Super Six, coming after one-sided beat downs to Andre Dirrell and Carl Froch.Preview Changes
At 31, Abraham appeared to be done.
Since then, Abraham has pieced his career back together. He has won four fights in a row, including a win over WBO titleholder Robert Stieglitz. On Saturday, Abraham will defend his title in a rematch with Stieglitz in Magdeburg, Germany (Epix/EpixHD.com, 4 pm).
After beating Stieglitz (43-3) in a close decision last year, Abraham (36-3) made it clear that he wants to leave no room for doubt in this fight.
“It´s time for the rematch and we have a clear goal,” Abraham said. “We have to destroy him and we will do everything we can to reach our goal, which showed during our preparations. We have a lot of respect for our opponent but once we step into the ring I have to destroy him, no question.”
Countered Stieglitz, “Those are some big words. We will see what happens. I am in great shape and want to take revenge. There is a reason why I was the world champion for more than two years, and I want the crown back. It was a close decision (the first fight). I am excited to be fighting in Magdeburg. The fans will help me to take revenge and I am looking forward to that.”
There is a lot at stake for the winner: The super middleweight division has become one of the most high profile divisions in boxing, with cash driving stars in Ward, Froch, Lucian Bute and Mikkel Kessler. The winner will not only have a title, but will be in line for a good payday.
-- Chris Mannix