Former IBF middleweight champion ”King” Arthur Abraham was made to work hard by Polish former European super middleweight title holder Piotr Wilczewski in Germany on Saturday night.
Despite winning by scores of 118-110 twice and 119-109, Abraham was forced to battle hard against Wilczewski, who never looked seriously hurt despite Abraham’s best efforts.
32 year Abraham (34-3, 27 KOs) an Armenian who holds German citizenship, could now fight the winner of the upcoming WBO super middleweight bout between holder Robert Stieglitz of Germany and Britain’s unbeaten George Groves, the no.1 contender. Wilczewski saw his record slip to 30-3 with ten knockouts.
Abraham looked at times dangerous but too often wild and ragged, as he seemed confused at how to deal with the awkward, durable Wilczewski. Abraham appears not to have improved from the fighter who was well beaten by Andre Dirrell, Carl Froch and Andre Ward in the recent Showtime Super Six tourney where he nevertheless made the semifinals. Although he had told German newspaper Bild earlier this year that he intended to return to the middleweight ranks, where he reigned as IBF champion for three years, made ten successful title defenses and never lost, the truth is he looked rock solid at 167 lbs, and it would take him a mammoth effort to lose the muscle weight needed to get back down to middleweight.
In this writer’s opinion, Abraham needs to part company with long-time coach Ulli Wegner and employ a new trainer with fresh ideas while he is still relatively young enough to embrace them. If not, this exciting, crowd pleasing warrior of a fighter may become an easy touch for skillful, mobile super middleweights like Groves and Britain’s other 168 lb star James DeGale.