Fighting with just his left hand, WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (40-4, 28 KO’s) successfully defended his WBO 168lb title with a 12 round unanimous decision win tonight against an over-matched and terribly limited 35-year-old #12 WBO Nikola Sjekloca (26-2, 8 KO’s) at The Velodrom, Prenzlauer Berg, in Berlin, Germany.
The final judges’ scores were 116-113, 116-112, and 119-110 for Abraham. Sjekloca fought well enough to lose by a 116-113 score, but definitely not 119-110. That was way too wide of a score for the fight that took place tonight.
Abraham, 34, revealed after the fight that he had hurt his right hand while in training for the fight, but instead of pulling out of the fight, he went ahead and fought anyway. Initially, Abraham was still able to use his right hand a little bit, but by the 6th round he had aggravated his injury enough to where he was forced to use his left hand only for the remainder of the fight. As it turns out, Abraham’s left hand was more than enough to beat the light hitting Sjekloca, because he didn’t have the power to do much against Abraham. You can make an argument that Abraham’s jabs were more powerful than Sjekloca’s power shots, because it sure looked that way tonight.
Abraham’s jabs swelled up Sjekloca’s right eye by the 6th round of the fight, and his eye got steadily worse as each round went by in the last half of the fight. Despite the fact that Abraham was fighting with just one arm, Sjekloca didn’t have the ability to take advantage of it. His problem, besides lacking any power at all, was the fact that he wasn’t throwing combinations at all. Had Sjekloca jumped on Abraham the way that Robert Stieglitz did in their second fight, he would have beaten Abraham up. But Sjekloca was only throwing one punch at a time, and giving away each round by not letting his hands go.
The fight was really won the moment that Abraham’s promoters from Sauerland picked out Sjekloca as his opponent, because this guy had done zero to deserve a title shot other than losing to Sakio Bika. That was kind of Sjekloca’s claim to fame, losing a lopsided 12 round decision to Bika. Why they chose Sjekloca as Abraham’s opponent for this fight instead of a more worthy contender is anyone’s guess. But the fight was really won once they picked out Sjekloca from the bottom of the WBO’s top 15 rankings rather than selecting someone that with more talent, more ability and with more youth. As I said before, I still don’t know how or why this fight was televised on television in Germany, because it was a poor match-up going in the door and it should have never been put together in the first place, in my view.