Late Replacement Foe Named For WBO 168-Pound Champ Robert Stieglitz: Australia’s Nader Hamdan

By James Slater: After suffering a terrible run of bad luck that saw not one but two big fights fall through due to injury suffered by his would-be challengers (Mikkel Kessler first, George Groves second), reigning WBO super-middleweight champ Robert Stieglitz has a late replace foe that will allow him to fight as planned on the big May 5th bill in Erfurt, Germany. have just announced how 38-year-old Australian and former WBA 168-pound championship challenger Nader Hamdan, 43-9-1(18) will step in for Groves and save the day. Hamdan, known as “Lionheart,” has won just one of his last five fights, yet as a late replacement challenger no real complaints can be made.

A pro since way back in 1997, Hamdan is durable (stopped just once as a pro) and he is also very experienced. Fighting almost exclusively at home, Hamdan has travelled before - most notably in 2002 when he went to Japan and won a 12-round UD over Nobuhiro Ishida (of James Kirkland KO1 fame). The 38-year-old has also been in with top names Arthur Abraham (“King” Arthur being the one man to have halted the Aussie: TKO12), Sam Soliman (L12), Otis Grant (L12), Mads Larsen (L8) and, most recently in 2008, in his shot at the WBA belt, Anthony Mundine (L12).

30-year-old Stieglitz, 41-2(23) now has to try and get hold of as much footage of his new challenger as he possibly can. Winner of his last ten (since being stopped by Librado Andrade in 2008) and set to make the sixth defence of his WBO crown, it would be a massive upset if Stieglitz lost next month.

A stoppage win would suit the German star just fine, as he continues his search for a big fight (the aforementioned Kessler is now the WBO#1 contender at 168, so that fight may still happen for Stieglitz) - yet he may have to settle for a points win.

Article posted on 28.04.2012

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