Robert Stieglitz shuts out Nader Hamdan in Erfurt

6 May

Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen

The least heralded of the world champions at super middleweight, WBO incumbent Robert Stieglitz failed to boost his international stock value as, even though he amassed a one-sided points victory over Nader Hamdan on Saturday, May 5 at the Massehalle in Erfurt, Germany, the lack of quality opponent combined with the dour nature of the fight ensured no fear will have been instilled into any potential future challenger (George Groves, Arthur Abraham or Mikkel Kessler).

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Kirsch’s scorecard

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

Official verdict: Stieglitz on points (120-108, 117-111, 117-111).

Originally slated to fight unbeaten Briton George Groves, Robert Stieglitz showed signs of de-motivation when clashing with 38-year-old Australian replacement Nader Hamdan (who had won just once in his last five prior to Stieglitz). The busier boxer, Stieglitz was also faster than Hamdan and his hand speed in particular ensured he was able to send multiple hooking punches to both of Hamdan’s cheeks when he was mid-flurry.

Tactically, Stieglitz fought a good fight early on and, being eight years Hamdan’s junior, attempted to old man his opponent by taking as much gas out of his lungs when pounding the body early on. Stieglitz, though, never really got going and merely cruised to a shut-out decision.

Hamdan established his jab in round three yet his movement was too one-dimensional, he moved in forward and backward lines and neglected side-to-side motions. These forward lines meant he walked into shots, notably chin-bound right hands as Stieglitz – even when in second gear – limited Hamdan’s precision by attacking so efficiently himself. Hamdan, though, sought to outwork Stieglitz in the match-up’s second quarter. In the first half of the fifth round, for instance, Hamdan took control via sheer work-rate alone, yet, in the second half of the round, Stieglitz regained the upper-hand with his attention to the body, the accuracy of the right hand over the top.

While Stieglitz was undeniably the superior super middleweight, there were flaws in his approach to boxing Hamdan. The Sydney-based fighter, who had only once been stopped by knockout in two hands full of defeats (to Arthur Abraham), was a durable man but was largely immobile. Stieglitz’s activity was eye-catching but he was not trapping Hamdan. The Australian always wanted to operate in the middle of the ring, something Stieglitz allowed him to do, yet if he forced him into a corner – or even the ropes – he would have a stationary target to unleash combination after combination on.

Undeterred at being so far behind on the scorecards, Hamdan did have reason for cheer as his jabbing produced mild swelling on the champion’s face in round eight but, just when he may have nicked a ten score, Stieglitz reverted to form and considerably out-threw and out-boxed Hamdan.

Leaving it late to change gears in order to finally increase his speed and power, Stieglitz forced Hamdan into punishing territory in round ten but that burst of excitement was short-lived as the German – fatigued – went back to doing just enough to claim the round and the eventual victory, moving to 42-2-0, 23ko in what was a forgettable performance. Hamdan dropped down to 43-10-1, 18ko.

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