On August 25, Arthur Abraham (35-3, 27 KOs) dethroned Robert Stieglitz and took the WBO Super-Middleweight Championship off him. Now the date is set for his first title defense. The champion takes on Mehdi Bouadla (26-4, 11 KOs) in Nuremberg, Germany, on December 15.
It is going to be a special fight for Abraham. “It was such a relief after I won the title against Robert Stieglitz. There were quite a few experts who said I wouldn’t be able to become the super-middleweight champion,” said the 32-year-old. “Now I have to prove that I deserve to be at the top. I cannot afford to be complacent when I take on Mehdi Bouadla.”
The challenger from Aulnay-sous-Bois, France, would like nothing more than to cause a huge upset against coach Ulli Wegner’s prodigy. After suffering a defeat to the hands of Danish Superstar Mikkel Kessler in June 2011, the 30-year-old came back with some impressive performances and presented himself in great shape. After four victories in a row, the World Boxing Organization currently ranks him at number twelve.
“Of course Arthur is the favorite. He is the world champion,” said coach Ulli Wegner. However, he is also eager for Abraham not to be to confident.
“Bouadla shouldn’t be under estimated. He is one of these guys, who is always looking to get at his opponent. He also has a lot of heart. Arthur will have to be very careful.”
“The fans in front of the TV and the spectators inside the ARENA NUERNBERGER VERSICHERUNG can look forward to a very interesting fight,” said Chris Meyer, Managing Director of Sauerland Event. “Lately, Arthur Abraham showed what he can do as a super-middleweight. Now, in Mehdi Bouadla, he has someone in front of him, who has the will power to take advantage of this chance.”
Of course, considering we saw Kessler pummel Bouadla into a 6th round stoppage victory, this choice of opponent is far from inspiring. Especially considering that Edwin Rodriguez was calling for the date, and that’s a fight that would have garnered interest from HBO or other main American networks.
After his failed Super Six venture, one wonders if Abraham and his team will simply continue to meander through title defenses like this in Germany for as long as possible before facing a legitimate test again.