Former WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz (47-4, 27 KOs) got himself one step closer to a fourth fight against Arthur Abraham by halting 39-year-old #7 WBO Sergey Khomitsky (29-11-2, 11 KO’s) at the 10th round to win the vacant WBO Inter-Continental super middleweight title at the Anhalt Arena, Dessau, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany.
The fight was halted at the start of the round due to a cut that Khomitsky had suffered on his head from what appeared to be a head-butt from the numerous clinches that Stieglitz had initiated in the fight. The referee ruled the cut caused by a punch though and that gave Stieglitz the advantage.
Khomitsky was the more powerful puncher of the two by far, as he nailed Stieglitz with hard hooks to the head in the first could of rounds each time he could get within punching distance.
In the 3rd round, Stieglitz changed his tactics by employing the punch-and-grab technique which he used for the remainder of the fight. Stieglitz would punch and immediately grab Khomitsky in a clinch while tying up both of his arms to keep him from getting his hands off while being held.
Stieglitz would repeat the punch and grab maneuver 10+ times per rounds, making it all but impossible for Khomitsky to get his offense going. With the referee doing zero to address Stieglitz’s constant clinching, Khomitsky was helpless. Not being skilled at how to defeat the punch and hold technique that Stieglitz was using, Khomitsky was limited to only occasional shots that he’d get in before Stieglitz would have a chance to clinch him.
Stieglitz also used a maneuver where upon the fighters breaking apart after one of his clinches, he’d immediately nail Khomitsky with a shot after the two were breaking apart. He did this move over and over again. It looked sneaky and cheap looking, but the referee did nothing and Khomitsky didn’t realize that he needed to nail Stieglitz with his own shot immediately when breaking from him.
Overall, the clinching probably won the fight for Stieglitz because if he hadn’t held Khomitsky so much, he would have taken a lot of punishment. You’ve got to fault the referee for not doing his job to limit the clinching by Stieglitz by taking off points, but then again Stieglitz was the home fighter so you can’t really expect the referee to do much under those circumstances.
Stieglitz will now likely be getting a fourth fight against Abraham next after he takes care of business against Paul Smith on September 27th. Ideally, the WBO should make Stieglitz have to fight an eliminator bout in order to have him fight Abraham again, because the two of them have been going back and forth in a near monopoly of the WBO super middleweight title since 2012, but I doubt they will. Stieglitz will likely get another fight against Abraham without having to fight someone like #2 WBO Gilberto Ramirez.