By Derek Bonnett: The third week of March had a rematch theme to it as two SecondsOut top contenders avenged prior losses with impressive stoppage victories. It was important to fighters like Carlos Monzon, Azumah Nelson, and, more recently, Lennox Lewis to avenge the blemishes on their records. It helped to affirm their greatness historically. While Adonis Stevenson and Robert Stieglitz are far from great, this weekend’s performances were and they now put themselves on course for bigger and better things with these demons now exorcized.
On Friday, March 22, at Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Adonis Stevenson avenged his lone defeat by stopping Darnell Boone in six rounds of a super middleweight bout. Boone was dropped twice before it was stopped at the 2:43 mark. Stevenson raised his record to 20-1 (17) and now eyes a June 8 showdown with Chad Dawson. Boone fell to 19-21-3 (8).
Stevenson retained his number ten ranking at SecondsOut, but can break into the light heavyweight ranks if he is success against light heavyweight titlists Chad Dawson in June.
On Saturday, March 23, at GETEC Arena, Madgeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, Arthur Abraham was upset by Robert Stieglitz in a WBO super middleweight title bout rematch. Stieglitz scored a TKO at the start of round four as Abraham failed to come out of his corner. His left eye was badly swollen from right hands. Stieglitz regained the title and raised his record to 44-3 (25). Abraham dropped to 36-4 (28).
Stieglitz climbed from fifth to fourth among SecondsOut’s top super middleweights. Abraham fell from fourth to eighth. Sakio Bika, Thomas Oosthuizen, and George Groves each climbed one ranking to fifth, sixth, and seventh, respectively.
Also on the card, Robert Helenius outpointed Michael Sprott in a ten round heavyweight bout. The Nordic Nightmare won by scores of 98-93 twice and 97-93. Helenius improved his dossier to 19-0 (11). Sprott fell to 37-20 (17).
Helenius needs greater activity and stronger performances to elevate his standing among the divisions’ best. He remained SecondsOut’s number eight heavyweight, but is on shaky ground.
Also on the move, James Kirkland hit the one year mark for inactivity and has been fully removed from the SecondsOut rankings after being demoted to tenth. Ishe Smith replaces him at tenth based on his recent title win over Cornelius Bundrage and attrition.
Also on the move, Joseph Agbeko break an inactivity stretch with a win over Luis Melendez. Agbeko climbed back into the bantamweight rankings at fifth. Alberto Guevara exited to make room. The previous five through nine contenders each fell one ranking.