Arthur Abraham stops Elcock, Abraham vs Sturm next?
King Arthur Abraham (25-0, 20 KOs) made a successful sixth defence of his IBF middleweight title on Saturday night when he clinched a fifth-round TKO victory over Wayne Elcock. The undefeated 27-year-old, who had already floored his opponent with a right in the second round, used one of his trademark assaults to end the one-sided issue with 62 seconds to go in the fifth. After a big right hook almost sent Elcock out of the ring, King Arthur followed it up with another hard combination that saw the challenger collapsing into the referee´s arms. "My coach urged me to be a bit more active," Abraham said afterwards. "That´s what I did and shortly afterwards the fight was over"
Abraham admitted the swelling he picked up above his right eye following an accidental headbutt also played a role in the early stoppage..
"It really annoyed me," he said. "I did not want my eye to get shut so I concentrated 120 percent. I was going for the kill." And similar to the stoppages of Sebastien Demers and Khoren Gevor, King Arthur pleased the Basle crowd with a spectacular finish. "Those hard hands and powerful attacks were world class," critical coach Ulli Wegner lauded. "But he should have been more active in the first rounds."
Elcock (18-3, 8 KOs) tipped his hat to the champion. "He is a great puncher and deserved to win," the brave challenger said. "For me it was just a bad day in the office. I should have moved more. I did not think he was that big of a puncher to be fair and he made me pay."
After his 25th win in as many fights, there are bigger things ahead for Abraham, according to Wilfried Sauerland. "I am negotiating with HBO for them to cover his next mandatory defence," the manager said. "And we´ve already booked St. Pauli´s football stadium (in Hamburg) for July. We want Arthur to fight Felix Sturm. He would have two world titles afterwards and that would further raise his profile in the U.S."
Abraham has set his sights on becoming the undisputed super-champion in the middleweight division. "That´s my goal and I will work hard to accomplish it," he stated. "Right now my favourite opponent is Kelly Pavlik but if he loses his next fight it will be Taylor. I want to unify the titles."
On the undercard, Cristian Sanavia retained his European super-middleweight belt following a draw against Germany´s Danilo Haussler. In a well-balanced fight, the Italian got the better of his opponent early but found himself on the canvas in the seventh after a shot to the head. A cut then opened above the champion´s left eye in the eighth. Neither fighter could make any significant impact in the following, with Sanavia firing in lefts and Haussler making good use of left-right combinations. The fight went to the scorecards, and the judges ruled it 114-112, 112-114 and 113-113.
The most spectacular bout of the evening was the clash between Danny Williams and Oleg Platov for the IBF intercontinental heavyweight title. Both fighters were engaged in wild exchanges from the first bell on, with Platov threatening early. However, the Ukrainian picked up a badly-bleeding cut above the left eye following an accidental headbutt in the second round. It would not keep him from marching forward as he continued to swing wild punches but not without taking some huge shots from Williams. After 2:15 in the fourth and with the cut getting worse, the referee waved the fight off. According to the rules of the IBF, it was declared a no contest. Sauerland managing director Chris Meyer defended the decision. "The rules are clear," he said. "We had an accidental headbutt and the referee, who consulted the doctor several times, ruled he could not continue to protect his health."
Article posted on 09.12.2007
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