Boxing


Felix Sturm To Make Return Against Gavin Topp on November 18 in Germany

04.10.06 - By Jeff Bastasini: Felix Sturm, 27, the former WBA middleweight champion, will make his ring return on November 18, 2006, taking on Gavin Topp (20-2-2, 4 KO's), an Australian fighter, at the Burg-Wächter Castello in Düsseldorf, Germany. This will be the first appearance for Sturm (25-2, 11 KO's) since being stopped in the 10th round by Javier Castillejo on July 15, 2006. Sturm lost his WBA middleweight title in that fight, and hopes to get as rematch with Castillejo in the near future. In that bout, Sturm had a commanding lead in the early rounds, mostly jabbing as is his custom, but he seemed to fade as the fight progressed under Castillejo's constant pressure. In the 10th round, with Sturm trying to circle and stay away from Castillejo, he was suddenly caught with a barrage of punches by the Spaniard and was badly hurt, causing the referee to step in and halt the bout.

There was talk afterward about Sturm having fought the wrong type of fight against Castillejo, perhaps by trying to brawl too much, rather than using Sturm's usual style of boxing, one that relies on a mixture of jabbing, quick darting attacks, and side to side movement. That excuse makes sense, being that after Sturm's 12-round decision victory over former WBA middleweight champion Maselino Masoe (26-4, 25 KO's) in March 11, 2006, Sturm had received a great deal of criticism after the bout, based on the fact that he had appeared to have fought a safety-first type of bout where he had boxed on the outside and rarely initiated with Masoe, even with the fight outcome safely in hand in the final 2 rounds.

Whatever the case, Castillejo exposed Sturm as being a weak inside fighter, seemingly getting the better of Sturm on virtually every occasion that he came inside on him with punches. To me, it was almost as if Sturm didn't know what to do once Castillejo got on the inside, as Sturm would cover up his face and take punches repeatedly, seldom throwing anything back in return.

Understandably, Sturm needs to work on his offense, which is why he has likely decided on fighting Topp, who is ranked # 13 in the WBO. Topp, 33, has little power and a leaky defense, just perfect for Sturm to work on his weak points.

Article posted on 05.10.2006



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