Punch-happy Stieglitz out-lands and out-works brave Weber, retains world championship

14 Jan

Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen

Defending WBO super middleweight world champion Robert Stieglitz won a shut-out decision victory over green challenger Henry Weber at the Baden-Arena in Offenburg, Germany on Saturday, January 14. Stieglitz won every round of the fight due to a Joe Calzaghe work-rate, in a battle between two Germans, to maintain course for a lucrative all European encounter with Mikkel Kessler in Copenhagen, Denmark on April 14.

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Kirsch’s scorecard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Stieglitz
10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
10 10
Weber
9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9

Official verdict: 118-110, 116-112, 119-109, unanimous decision to Stieglitz.

A fighter blessed with fine balance, poise and precision, defending champion Robert Stieglitz’s first attack kept in tradition with the style in which he is most known for – sharp shooting, throwing punches in bunches and boxing with an appreciation of angles, footwork and range. Weber ate jabs, accepted hook shots to the chin, straights to the brow and only really was able to take control of the fight when he boxed an inch in front of Stieglitz’s toes and threw uppercuts from point blank. The WBO titlist, though, boasted the better work-rate, controlled the ring, the tempo and the fight in general.

An active fighter with accumulative punch power, Stieglitz was able to land multiple blows and turn his man, before Weber was even able to think about connecting. Stieglitz could beat Weber to the punch almost at will and a booming uppercut through the middle had Weber rocked. So much so, that it either punched the guard out of his mouth or it was spat out in order to buy time. For Weber, though, it was borrowed. As early as round two, he was marking up, bleeding and was mouth-breathing heavily.

Weber opened the third round by throwing his fists yet the head-bound punches were blocked. The challenger did, however, connect cleanly when he went to the body and it remained an area the raw 23-year-old would need to bombard if he wanted to be able to slow the pace set by the champion. When Weber had closed the gap, he was able to sneak shots through to Stieglitz’s head with the right uppercut crunching into the Russia-born German’s chin more than once. For all of Weber’s intent, though, it was Stieglitz who remained superior with barely a blemish on his cut body and clean face.

Unfathomably, Stieglitz upped the tempo even further in the fourth round, boxing square, leading with the jab and also the right cross, following up with the left hook. There was a greater spell of equal trading midway through the round as Stieglitz walked into a hard left jab from Weber. In the fifth round, Weber’s white face had reddened and his mouth was swamping with his own blood. Stieglitz finished the round in fine form, pushing Weber into the ropes, boxing smart and forcing Weber to take blow after blow before the challenger returned to his stool with red staining the skin between his nostrils and upper lip.

By the sixth stanza Weber was fighting as if he was having the will beaten out of him while an unforgiving Stieglitz looped heavy leather onto his foe’s chin, before connecting with a textbook one-two. In the seventh round, Stieglitz cuffed right hooks into Weber’s cheekbone, sparking a one-two-three combination reaction from the novice prizefighter. Rallied by cornerman instruction between rounds, Weber boxed back but, unworried, Stieglitz continued his own assault and landed a big-time right hand with just 60 seconds left on the round clock.

The decisive factor in the WBO title fight was the technical ability of Stieglitz easily overcoming an opponent – Weber – that was, often, stationary, rather than one that was attempting to evade. As such, Stieglitz was able to score straight-forward points due to his effective and precise pressure.

What made matters worse for Weber was that, following the conclusion of the eighth round, he was fighting in uncharted territory as he had never before entered a championship contest and neither had he participated in anything longer than an eight rounder.

A former champion of the WBO belt that Stieglitz holds was Calzaghe and, in one of his defences, he jackhammered through Peter Manfredo Jr by pumping his fists out with an unrelenting piston-action, teekayoing the American contender in three rounds and, in the tenth round of the Stieglitz and Weber encounter, it was an effort that Robert tried to replicate as he sought to secure the Hollywood finish. Showing courage, heart and machismo, Weber weathered the storm but, in the final, 30 seconds, the mouth-piece was out of the challenger’s gums as he looked to take a respite.

Stielgitz’s stamina was above par as, even in the 11th round, he was able to use upper body movement to sufficiently bob-and-weave under a tiring Weber’s half-hearted punches. This, before Stieglitz began his own customary fistic torture, boxing the entirety of every round as if he was attempting to steal the ten score in the final 15 seconds.

Weber’s gum-shield was out for a third time in the final round, disrupting Stieglitz’s early rhythm. Weber may have attempted to secure what would have been a stunning come-from-behind knockout win, but with Stieglitz’s ability to brush off whatever he had thrown in the rounds prior, combined with his paltry stoppage record (one in every five), it was a result that was extremely unlikely.

Weber, though, brave as he was, survived the 12-round onslaught. He will have won admiring glances due to his stubbornness but it was Stieglitz who deserves the accolades for a technically-solid display, a NASCAR engine and a punch output statistic that will likely have mirrored that of his idol, Calzaghe.

With victory, Stieglitz not only moves closer to his Kessler date, but bumps his record up to 41-2-0, 23ko while Weber suffered the first defeat of his professional career: 15-1-1, 3ko.

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6 Responses to “Punch-happy Stieglitz out-lands and out-works brave Weber, retains world championship”

  1. bobby hunter January 14, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    also had it 120-108 to the champion , easy fight to judge..116-112 score was far too close

  2. On The Beak January 14, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

    I agree! Couldn’t quite believe that score.

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