WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm (34-2-1,14KO’S) retained his title last night via a twelve round unanimous decision over worthy challenger from Dominican Republic, Giovanni Lorenzo (29-3,21KO). Perhaps the site, Laxness-Arena, Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, a home town for Felix, had as much to do with the final outcome of the fight, because the wide margin on the score cards, 117-111 twice and 118-111 was not indicative of the action in the ring.
Each round, early similar to the previous one featured the champion holding a high guard and controlling the action with the stiff razor sharp jab, pushing his challenger back. Lorenzo, who said that he learned his lesson from loosing his previous title challenge in Germany last year on a split decision to Sylvester, was not able to assert his dominance. Despite throwing fluid combinations and mixing some vicious hooks to the body, he was being backed up constantly from a jab of a champion. In spite of moving back wards for much of the fight. The challenger threw a lot of punches, but majority of them landed on the gloves of the champion.
Every round was competitive and close and could go either way, but may be the challenger could learn that if one wants to win a title, especially in enemy territory, he needs to press the action and look dominant. Lorenzo failed to do that.
Sturm showed no ring rust after being out of the ring for fourteen months due to managerial problems; he fought a good technical fight, displayed a fantastic jab, one of the best in the business, and did enough to keep his belt. What is next for a thirty one year old champion? Should he forget about his bad experience in America with Oscar De La Hoya in 2004 and try to defend his title against Kelly Pavlik or should he try to unify in Germany against newly crowned WBO champion, Dmitry Pirog?