By Derek Bonnett: In a career spanning fifteen years to date, Felix Sturm has captured five world titles in two divisions. The former four time middleweight champion and now reigning WBA super middleweight champion has taken a difficult road to get to where he is in the sport. This weekend, Sturm’s latest title win came under moderately controversial conditions as he received a questionable majority decision over Fedor Chudinov in their rematch. Sadly, many of Sturm’s accomplishments are mired by the popular belief that Sturm is protected in Germany by the officials. But is he really so lucky?
Sturm’s most significant bout is arguably one he lost by dubious decision to Oscar De La Hoya back in 2004. That screw job cost Sturm his unbeaten record and his WBO middleweight belt. He’s never had his passport stamped for a fight in the USA since. In 2007, Sturm fought to a questionable draw with Randy Griffin. The same result was delivered following his bout with Martin Murray. To this day, I still hear unbiased support for Sturm winning both bouts. If he were so protected wouldn’t he have won those German-hosted bouts as well?
Remember his fight with Daniel Geale? I remember a competitive fight, which I felt Sturm won narrowly. Well, he didn’t. He lost by split scores of 116-112. In a more recent affair, Sturm was handed a draw against fellow countryman Robert Stieglitz. Stieglitz was popular, but never so much as Sturm. In fact, at the time Stieglitz’ career was much hotter and Sturm was the fighter seen as on his way down. Again, we saw a close fight, but no victory for Sturm. In his first bout with Chudinov, Sturm looked like a beaten fighter and after twelve rounds he was handed another defeat in Germany.
This weekend’s decision may be subject to debate, but it is one of not too many verdicts handed down for what appeared to be Sturm’s benefit. Sturm did receive one of the worst decisions I can recall when he was awarded a victory over Mathew Macklin back in 2011. That was heinous. However, it is the only time I can say Sturm received a blatant gift with certitude. Sturm lands a lot of jabs and works the body. His volume of work can at times be overlooked in favor of heavier punches during a round. That’s what makes Sturm’s fights so close, not rampant corruption among German officials. That actually appears to be reserved mostly for other fighters. If Germany is protector of Sturm’s dossier, it’s done a pretty lousy job of it; he’s not won his share of close bouts.
SecondsOut fighters On the Move:
On Friday, February 19:
At Nuevo Palacio Aurinegro, Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina, Omar Andres Narvaez forced Jesus Vargas into eighth round corner retirement super flyweight bout. The official time of the stoppage was :01 of round eight. Narvaez won for the second time since losing the WBO super flyweight title to Naoya Inoue. The Argentine fighter improved his dossier to 45-2-2 (24). Vargas fell to 14-4-1 (10).
Narvaez remained SecondsOut’s number sixth rated super flyweight in the world today. A rematch with Inoue still looms as a strong possibility for 2016.
On Saturday, February 20:
At Koenig Pilsener Arena, Oberhausen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, Fedor Chudinov was dethroned by Felix Sturm by twelve round majority decision in a WBA super middleweight title rematch. The three judges scored the contest 115-113 twice and 114-114. Sturm became a five time world champion in two divisions and lifted his ledger to 40-5-3 (18). Chudinov fell to 14-1-0 (10) under somewhat controversial circumstances.
Sturm climbed back into the SecondsOut super middleweight rankings at number ten and looks at a potential clash with Arthur Abraham later in 2016. Chudinov bowed out for the time being. Callum Smith jumped from tenth to ninth.
At Lobo Dome, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, Pedro Guevara defeated Jether Oliva by unanimous decision in a ten round flyweight bout. All three judges agreed on a score of 100-91. Guevara won for the first time since losing the WBC light flyweight title to Yu Kimura in November. His record advanced to 27-2-1 (17). Oliva fell to 23-5-2 (11).
Guevara remained SecondsOut’s number four rated light flyweight and is likely rematch Kimura later this year.
SecondsOut ranked fighters in action through Sunday, February 28, 2016:
On Saturday, February 27:
Gerry Weber Stadium, Halle, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
television: Germany RTL
12 Cruiserweight Ola Afolabi 22 4 4 (11) vs. Marco Huck 38 3 1 (24) International Boxing Organization cruiserweight title
Cebu City Waterfront Hotel & Casino, Barangay Lahug, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
television: Philippines ABS-CBN Channel 2
12 Super Bantamweight Albert Pagara 25 0 0 (18) vs. Yesner Talavera 15 3 1 (4) WBO Inter-Continental super bantamweight title
Manchester Arena (formerly M.E.N Arena), Manchester, Lancashire, United Kingdom
television: United Kingdom SKY Box Office, USA Showtime
12 Super Bantamweight Carl Frampton 21 0 0 (14) vs. Scott Quigg 31 0 2 (23) WBA/IBF super bantamweight title
Honda Center, Anaheim, California, USA
television: USA Showtime, Panama Cable Onda Sports
12 Featherweight Leo Santa Cruz 31 0 1 (17) vs. Kiko Martinez 35 6 0 (26) WBA Super featherweight title
12 Super Bantamweight Julio Ceja 30 1 0 (27) vs. Hugo Ruiz 35 3 0 (31) WBC super bantamweight title rematch
Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, USA
television: USA HBO, Hungary Sport 1
12 Super Lightweight Terence Crawford 27 0 0 (19) vs. Henry Lundy 26 5 1 (13) WBO World super lightweight title
10 Lightweight Felix Verdejo 19 0 0 (14) vs. William Silva 23 0 0 (14) WBO Latino lightweight title
For a more in depth look at Derek Bonnett’s SecondsOut world rankings:
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February 21, 2016