Thursday, February 02, 2023  |


Felix Sturm, Robert Stieglitz battle to split-draw verdict



Photo by Daniel Kopatsch / Bongarts

Photo by Daniel Kopatsch / Bongarts

In a showdown of German former world titleholders trying to earn one more run at a world title, Felix Sturm and Robert Stieglitz battled to an exciting split decision draw on Saturday at the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart, Germany.

After 12 back-and-forth rounds, one judge scored it 115-113 for the two-time WBO super middleweight titleholder Stieglitz (47-4-1, 27 knockouts), another had the same score for the four-time middleweight titleholder Sturm (39-4-3, 18 KOs) while the third had it even at 114-114.

Sturm, 35, established his superiority with the jab early, using it to score as Stieglitz, 33, looked for the opportunity to impose his physical strength. Stieglitz, who is rated No. 3 by THE RING at 168 pounds, began to find room for his heavier punches in the later portion of the first half of the fight, ringing Sturm’s bell with a hook in the fifth that established his mark on the bout.

Sturm found his jab again in the sixth round, using it to control the next few rounds while Stieglitz pushed back in the later rounds with his clubbing blows. With the fight on the table in the final round, both men emptied the tank with Stieglitz swinging wildly in search of a knockout and Sturm looking to capitalize on the openings.

In the end, neither man deserved to lose and showed they were still capable of fighting at a high level. The bout was contested at a catchweight of 166.45 pounds.

Sturm is now one fight removed from his decision loss to Sam Soliman in May while Stieglitz is two fights removed from his most recent loss, a split-decision in his rubber match with Arthur Abraham in March.

On the undercard, long-time female boxing mainstay Susi Kentikian (34-2, 17 KOs) successfully defended her WBA flyweight title for the third time with a unanimous decision victory over Naoko Fujioka (12-1, 6 KOs) of Tokyo, Japan.

The scores were 97-94, 97-93 and 96-94 for Kentikian.