WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz (44-3, 25 KO’s) is opting to take an easy first title defense against unknown, untested #10 WBO, Yuzo Kiyota (23-3-1, 21 KO’s) this Saturday night, July 13th at the Energie Verbund-Arena, in Dresden, Sachsen, Germany.
This is the kind of fight that characterized Stieglitz’s previous reign as WBO 168 lb. champion from August 2009 to August 2012. Stieglitz took pretty much only safe fights against little known opposition rather than stepping it up to face the best fighters in the super middleweight division like Andre Ward, Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler.
Stieglitz’s three-year reign finally ended last year when he was beaten by Arthur Abraham, a fighter who had been completely dominated by the best fighters in the super middleweight division in the Super Six Tournament. Stieglitz was able to recapture his WBO title by beating Abraham in a rematch last March in a 4th round stoppage.
Dan Rafael is ESPN is reporting that ESPN is working on showing the Stieglitz-Koyota fight on ESPN3 tomorrow via a live stream. It’s not expected to be a competitive fight, and it would be better if ESPN3 were to wait until Stieglitz faces someone that can fight like #1 WBO George Groves instead of having Stieglitz’s optional title defense Kiyota shown to U.S audiences.
If Stieglitz fights like he did against Abraham last March, he should be able to get Kiyota out of there pretty quickly. Stieglitz is likely going to win even if he takes his time with Kiyota, but if he jumps on him early then it should be a fairly quick fight.
Kiyota’s best opponent on his resume is Jameson Bostic and he was beaten by a 1st round knockout by him in 2010. Bostic was stopped in the 2nd round by Isaac Chilemba in 2011 and he hasn’t fought since.