WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz (44-3, 25 KO’s) will be making a title defense tonight against Japan’s Yuzo Kiyota (23-3-1, 21 KO’s) at the Energie Verbund-Arena in Dresden, Germany.
This will be a big step up for the 29-year-old Koyota, as he’s never been in the ring with anyone close to being as good as Stieglitz. The World Boxing Organization has Kiyota ranked #10 by their organization, but there really isn’t much on his resume that suggests that he deserves to be ranked even in the top 50.
Kiyota’s wins have come against 3rd tier opposition, and he’s been beaten by two third tier fighters and one 2nd tier guy Jameson Bostic.
Stieglitz and his promoters likely know what they have in front of them tonight with the experienced Kiyota and we should see a quick knockout win by Stieglitz if he decides to press the attack early like he did in his last fight against Arthur Abraham last March.
Stieglitz has the power to end this fight early unless he decides to carry Kiyota to give his German boxing fans a chance to see him slowly break him down and stop him in the later rounds.
Kiyota has won his last four fights since being stopped in the 1st round by Bostic in 2010. However, Kiyota’s wins have come against opponents with the following records: 1-2-1, 4-6-1, 7-1, and 9-0. It looks like he’s been padding his record with easy wins, but this is pretty much been the norm for Kiyota as far as the types of opponents he’s faced in his career.
Bostic was his one step up fight and he was destroyed in one round, and Kiyota hasn’t fought anyone of note until tonight’s fight against Stieglitz.
Stieglitz will likely have to face a quality contender in his next fight. George Groves is his mandatory challenger unless he chooses not to take the fight. Lucian Bute and James DeGale are #2 and #3, and Arthur Abraham is #3. Stieglitz likely would prefer to face Abraham again because he seems like an easier option than facing the likes of Bute, DeGale or Groves.