By Jeff Sorby: WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (35-3, 27 KO’s) makes a defense of his title tonight against Mehdi Bouadla (26-4, 11 KO’s) at the Arena Nürnberger Versicherung, Nuremberg (Nürnberg), Bayern, Germany. This shouldn’t be too tough of a fight for the 32-year-old Abraham because Bouadla, 5’8”, doesn’t have the size, speed, power or the boxing ability to do what other fighters did one after to Abraham in the Super Six tournament in his embarrassing attempt at competing against the best at 168.
Bouadla has very limited size, and he’s about as tall as the average welterweight, but he’s fighting at super middleweight. For Abraham, 5’9”, Bouadla is perhaps the only fighter he’s faced at 168 that he’s got a height advantage over. Not being big is going to create a lot of problems for Bouadla because It’s going to mean that he’ll have to stand and trade with Abraham, and that’s probably not going to go well for Bouadla.
Bouadla got apart last year when he stepped it up a couple levels in terms of competition in his fight with Mikkel Kessler. Bouadla was destroyed in only six rounds by Kessler, who looked like he was toying with him the entire time. It was effortless for Kessler because Bouadla was short and didn’t have the speed or power to make a fight of it.
Unfortunately, Abraham is doing what a lot of champions do by looking to fight the bottom ranked contenders rather than from the top. It’s not the case with all champions, because guys like WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward doing believe in record padding easy fights, but he’s a rare one. Bouadla is ranked #14 by the WBO, and there were a lot of better fighters than him that Abraham should have fought.
Hopefully, this won’t be habit with Abraham because it would be disappointing to see him pooling from the bottom of the division instead of the top. When Abraham was the IBF middleweight champion he fought a lot of weak opponents as well, and he was able to hold onto the IBF title for many years. Had Abraham fought someone like Kelly Pavlik during that time, he likely would have been beaten.