Former WBA middleweight titleholder Felix Sturm found it hard to find the win column starting with the loss of the alphabet trinket to Daniel Geale last September.
Sturm lost an IBF eliminator against veteran Sam Soliman in February, though the bout was later overturned to a no contest when Soliman tested positive for a performance enhancing substance.
Still, the struggles with Soliman indicated that Sturm was perhaps nearing the end of his career. Looking to prove he had more to offer, Sturm met unbeaten Predrag Radosevic in an eliminator for the IBF’s No. 2 spot in his native Germany.
Sturm (38-3-2, 17 knockouts) turned in a quality performance against the unheralded Montenegro native, dropping Radosevic three times with body shots before the corner threw in the towel in the fourth round.
The fight began competitively, with Sturm popping out a solid jab with regularity. Even at the age of 34, Sturm possesses one of the best jabs in boxing. He properly utilized that weapon, which helped set up his power shots as the fight wore on.
Radosevic (27-1, 9 KOs) was game early, answering back when Sturm would rally offensively. Sturm rocked Radosevic with some big shots towards the end of the round.
Sturm carried the pace through round two, picking his spots to land well-timed counters against the sloppy attack of Radosevic. In the third, Radosevic took a knee following a Sturm attack, and his willingness to fight began to dilute.
In the fourth, Sturm landed a perfect left hook to the body of Radosevic that was reminiscent of famed body puncher Micky Ward. Radosevic instantly fell to the canvas, clutching his side.
Radosevic somehow made it to his feet, and Sturm was conservative with his follow-up. Sturm waded in slowly as his opponent was still not recovered from the body shot that had him down earlier in the round. Sturm landed some good shots to the head, which setup another shot to the body that dropped Radosevic for the third time. Soon after, the corner threw in the towel, making Sturm the winner at the 2:17 mark of the round.
Sturm hopes to land back in the world title picture and is angling for a rematch with Geale, who dethroned Sturm in Germany, a tough task for anyone. Sturm was previously 36-2-2 in Germany, with his lone fight outside of Europe being a controversial points defeat to Oscar De La Hoya in Las Vegas back in 2004.
Geale meets Darren Barker on HBO in August, and Sturm hopes to get the winner of that fight. Sturm also expressed interest in a fight with Gennady Golovkin, the new darling of HBO. This is interesting due to the fact that Sturm avoided a challenge from Golovkin when the two held differing versions of the same WBA belt a few years ago.
With Golovkin’s name having grown considerably in the time since, perhaps Sturm sees it as an opportunity to fight for big money. Previously, Sturm toiled against mostly lesser opposition while maintaining his title. If Sturm is truly interested in fighting real competition, he can factor into some really intriguing fights at this late stage of his career.