At the age of 29, Abraham is a five-year pro. The IBF middleweight world champion, he won the title in December, 2005, and has made nine successful defenses, five of those by knockout.
Abraham has several impressive wins – against former IBF Jr. middleweight world champion Raul Marquez (TKO7), and contenders Edison Miranda (TKO4, W12), Kofi Jantuah (W12), Kingsley Ikeke (TKO5), and Howard Eastman (W12)..
He has also shown great versatility in the ring. In the Miranda rematch, Abraham showed good skills, movement, and defense, then devastating punching power and a killer instinct – all in the course of four rounds.
Nobody can doubt his tremendous heart and determination. In the first Miranda fight, Abraham fought for eight rounds with his jaw broken in two places and pouring blood. He won the fight by decision. Two titanium plates and 22 screws were surgically implanted in his jaw immediately after the fight.
The only thing still lacking in Abraham’s credentials is a fight, and win, against a top-level fighter.
He is coming off a 12-round decision win against previously undefeated Lajuan Simon in his last fight in March, 2009.
After the fight, Dan Rafael wrote on ESPN.com [excerpts]: Middleweight world champion Kelly Pavlik and German titlist Abraham need to fight each other already, instead of taking pointless fights that excite so few. Pavlik did it in February when he fought Marco Antonio Rubio, a decent contender, but nobody good enough to set anyone on fire other than the Pavlik faithful in Youngstown, Ohio. This month it was Abraham’s turn to face undeserving Simon, of Philadelphia, who had never even faced (much less beaten) anyone of remote note to qualify for a title bout. And as expected, Abraham, of Germany, rolled over the unqualified challenger, knocking him down in the third round and claiming a lopsided decision in his ninth title defense. Yawn. Abraham and his team say they want Pavlik. The Pavlik team and promoter Top Rank talk about Abraham in less definitive terms. But there is no reason the fight shouldn’t happen this year. Abraham says if he can’t get Pavlik, he’ll move to super middleweight, especially since he is having more and more of a difficult time making 160 pounds. But as long as Pavlik and Abraham are at middleweight, they need to fight each other. The rest of the field is extremely weak, and don’t even say Felix Sturm because he and his team are way too conservative to even consider either man in a serious way.”
Abraham told TheSweetScience.com [excerpts]: I think it is a shame that neither Pavlik or Sturm have the guts to fight me. We offered Sturm 2.5 million euros to stage a unification, but he ducked out. He is scared and everyone knows it. As for Pavlik, I hope we can set something up soon. My management has been in touch with Top Rank for months and I’m confident we can get it done. A unification is what the whole boxing world wants to see. The Hopkins fight showed that Pavlik can be beaten, but that was nothing new to me.
“I would love to come to Pavlik’s hometown. I will fight him anywhere in the world. I have no problem coming to his backyard. In fact, I fought Miranda in Flordia. You know how it ended. I would fight Pavlik in his living room.
“My main target is Pavlik. After I have beaten him I will fight the best boxers at super middleweight. Once I have unified the titles at middleweight I will move up and chase new titles there. It is really hard for me now because I have to lose a lot of weight ahead of each fight.”
Abraham came to the U.S. in June, 2008, for the rematch with Miranda. It was Abraham’s American debut and first fight outside of Europe. Miranda said he could no longer make 160 pounds, and Abraham agreed to nontitle fight at a contracted weight of 166.
Key Fights – 2009 – NINTH IBF M WORLD TITLE DEFENSE – In his last fight on 3-14-09 in Kiel, GER, he won a 12-round unanimous decision against previously undefeated Lajuan Simon (21-0-2): the bout headlined at Sparkessen Arena; Simon gave a good effort and a few rounds were close, but Abraham dominated most of the fight; Simon won the first round on two scorecards, but Abraham scored a knockdown – really a punch-push – in the third, and rocked Simon with a series of punches in the 5th round; Abraham held back and coasted in the sixth, and Simon swept the round on all three scorecards, but Abraham came back and rocked Simon in the seventh round; Simon rocked Abraham with a left hook in the 8th, but only won the round on one scorecard and Abraham shut him out on the scorecards after that; scored 117-110, 118-109, 117-110.
2008 – EIGHTH IBF M WORLD TITLE DEFENSE – On 11-8-08 in Bamberg, GER, he TKO’d 37-year old lefthanded former IBF jr. middleweight world champion Raul Marquez (41-3-1): the fight headlined at Jako Arena, and Abraham dominated; Abraham rocked Marquez with series of punches in the first round, and Marquez fought cautiously after that; Abraham consistently outworked him and landed the harder punches, and cut him over his right eye in the sixth round; Abraham rocked him a few times in the sixth round, and Marquez did not continue after the round; the crowd booed the early stoppage; after six rounds, Abraham led by scores of 60-54, 59-55, 59-55, with Marquez winning only the second round on one scorecard and the fourth round on one scorecard.
On 6-21-08 in Hollywod, FL, he TKO’d Edison Miranda (30-2): this rematch headlined at the Hard Rock, and was contracted at 166 pounds because Miranda could not make 160; it was also Abraham’s first fight in the U.S.; Miranda pressed forward in the 1st and 2nd rounds, and Abraham fought cautiously – he continually backed away and blocked most of Miranda’s punches with his gloves and arms; Miranda won the first two rounds on the scorecards, but Abraham buckled his knees with a right hand in the third; Abraham finally opened up in the 4th round and scored three knockdowns with left hooks – the first dropped Miranda on the seat of his trunks, and the second and third dropped him flat on his back – and the referee stopped the fight without a count at 1:13.
SEVENTH IBF M WORLD TITLE DEFENSE – In his last fight on 3-29-08 in Keil, GER, he knocked out Elvin Ayala (18-2-1): the fight headlined at Sparkassen Arena, and the early rounds were close; Abraham swept the first round, but Ayala stepped up his pace and won the second and third on two scorecards; Abraham came back and swept the fourth round, then dominated the rest of the fight; he scored a knockdown with a right hand in the fifth, then swept rounds six through eight, won the ninth and 10th rounds on two scorecards, then swept the 11th; he scored another knockdown with a left uppercut that dropped Ayala face-first in the 12th round, and Ayala was counted out at 2:32; after 11 rounds, Abraham led by scores of 107-101, 107-101, 110-99.
2007 – 6TH IBF M WORLD TITLE DEFENSE – On 12-8-07 in Basel, SWIT, he TKO’d Wayne Elcock (18-2): the bout headlined at St. Jacob Halle, and Abraham dominated most of the fight; Elcock boxed and moved well at times, but Abraham scored one knockdown with a right hand in the second round; Abraham’s right eye became swollen after a clash of heads, but he scored another knockdown with a right hand when Elcock was held up by the ropes in the fifth – the round continued, but Abraham rocked Elcock woth a right hand-left hook combination that left him defenseless, and the referee stopped the fight at 1:58; after four rounds, Abraham led by scores of 40-35, 39-36, 38-37.
FIFTH IBF M WORLD TITLE DEFENSE – On 8-18-07 in Berlin, GER, he knocked out Koren Gevor (27-2): the fight headlied at Max Schmeling Halle; at 2:41 of the 11th round; Gevor gave a good effort and the early rounds were close, but Abraham rallied in the middle rounds and dominated most of the fight; he staggered Gevor with a left hook in the 11th round – Gevor stumbled backwards and Abraham scored a knockdown with another left hook that dropped Gevor to his knees, then to his side, and the referee stopped the fight at 2:41; after 10 rounds, Athur led by scores of 98-91, 97-93, 97-93.
FOURTH IBF M WORLD TITLE DEFENSE – On 5-26-07 in Bamberg, GER, he TKO’d previously undefeated Canadian middleweight champion Sebastien Demers (20-0): Abraham was much stronger that Demers and quickly overpowered him; Abraham started slowly in the first round, stepped up his pace in the second round, then scored a knockdown with a right hand in the third – Demers got up but was unsteady, and the referee stopped the fight at 2:57; after two rounds, the fight was scored 20-18, 20-18, 19-19.
2006 – THIRD IBF M WORLD TITLE DEFENSE – On 9-23-06 in Wetzlar, GER, he won a 12-round unanimous decision against previously undefeated Edison Miranda 26-0): the fight headlined at Rittal Arena, and it was a close, brutal battle with controversial officiating; Abraham jabbed and moved and built an early lead – he swept the first and third rounds on all three scorecards and won the second on two, but Miranda broke his jaw with a right hand in the fourth round; Abraham was bleeding heavily from his mouth when the fifth began, and Miranda was penalized two points for an intentional headbutt at around two minutes into the round – the butt was not to Abraham’s injured jaw, but to the side of his head, after which he put his glove to his ear in pain – and a timeout was called after the foul that lasted for about 4 ½ minutes; part of the controversy centered on what happened during the timeout – the ringside doctor and another unidentified person appeared to not only examine, but also treat Abraham’s jaw, which had been injured by a legal punch in the previous round, and apparently told the referee that the fight should be stopped; American referee Randy Neumann first said that the fight would go to the scorecards for a technical decision, but after several minutes of confusion and discussion with other officials at ringside, ruled that if the fight was stopped on the injury, Miranda would properly be the winner by TKO; another part of the controversy was that even though the doctor recommended that the fight be stopped on the injury, Abraham’s corner insisted that it continue, and the fight went on – Miranda won the fifth round on two scorecards with the third card even, before the two-point penalty, and won the sixth on two scorecards, as well; after six rounds, Abraham led by scores of 58-55, 58-56, 57-56; Miranda outworked him and won the seventh round on two scorecards, but was penalized for low blows two times in the round; Abraham showed tremendous heart and determination – with the left side of his face severely swollen and unable to close his mouth, which poured blood, he rocked Miranda in the eighth and ninth, although Miranda recovered and came back strongly both times; in the last three rounds, Abraham boxed, moved, and clinched when he could; Miranda constantly pressed forward and swept the 10th round, then took the 11th on two scorecards, but was penalized one point for low blows, then swept the 12th on all three scorecards, as well; Miranda and Abraham won six rounds each on two scorecards, with the third 6-5-1 in favor in Abraham, but with the five penalty points deducted from Miranda, the final scores were 115-109, 114-109, 114-109. Abraham was immediately taken to a hospital for surgery on his jaw, which was broken in two places; he was released one week later.
SECOND IBF M WORLD TITLE DEFENSE – On 5-13-06 in Zwickau, GER, he won a 12-round unanimous decision against Kofi Jantuah (30-2): the fight headlined at Stadhalle and the early rounds were close; Abraham stepped up his pace and rallied in the middle rounds, but was penalized one point for punching to the back of the head in the 7th round; Abraham finished the fight strongly – he swept the eighth round, won the ninth on two scorecards, swept the 11th, and won the 12th on two scorecards, and won by scores of 117-109, 116-111, 115-112.
FIRST IBF M WORLD TITLE DEFENSE – On 3-4-06 in Oldenburg, GER, he won a 12-round unanimous decision against Shannan Taylor (42-4-2): the fight hedalined at EWE Arena; Abraham consistently outworked Taylor and landed the harder punches, and Taylor fought defensively for much of the fight; Taylor was penalized one point for low blows in the sixth round and Abraham appeared to conserve energy in some of the late rounds, but still shut out Taylor on the scorecards – 120-106, 120-107, 120-107.
2005 – WON VACANT IBF M WORLD TITLE – On 12-10-05 in Leipzig, GER, he TKO’d six-foot four-inches tall Kingsley Ikeke (23-1): Ikeke gave a good effort, but Abraham dominated most of the fight – he pressed forward, outworked Ikeke, and landed the harder punches; Abraham staggered Ikeke with a right hand in the fifth round, backed him to the ropes, then staggered him with another right hand – the referee stopped the fight at 1:36 as Ikeke stumbled across the ring and fell to the canvas; after four rounds, Abraham led by scores of 40-36, 39-37, 39-37.
On 10-1-05 in Oldenburg he TKO’d Luis Parada (14-10-1): at 2:52 of the fifth round.
On 7-16-05 in Nuremburg, GER, he won a 12-round unanimous decision against 34 year-old former European middleweight champion Howard Eastman (40-2): the early rounds were close, but Abraham rallied in the middle rounds, consistently landed the harder punches, and finished the fight strongly; scored 119-110, 116-112, 115-113.
On 4-23-05 in Dortmund, GER, he TKO’d Hector Velazco (31-4-1): Abraham scored a knockdown in the 3rd round; he scored another knockdown in the fifth, and the referee stopped the fight at 2:49.
On 2-12-05 in Berlin he won a 12-round unanimous decision against lefthander Ian Gardner (18-1): scored 115-110, 115-113, 114-111.
2004 – On 11-20-04 in Kempten, GER, he TKO’d Roberto Vecchio (12-3-2): at 2:02 of the sixth round.
On 9-4-04 in Essen, GER, he TKO’d Nader Hamden (36-1): at 1:30 of the 12th round; after 11 rounds, Artur led by scores of 107-99, 107-101, 105-102.
On 7-3-04 in Hattersheim, GER, he knocked out Dave Nash (4-4): in the second round.
On 6-5-04 in Chemnitz, GER, he knocked out Mark Flynn (8-2): at 2:41 of the third round.
On 4-17-04 in Berlin he knocked out Cristian Zanabria (12-4-8): in the fifth round.
On 3-27-04 in Magdeburg, GER, he TKO’d Branco Sobot (18-5): in the second round.
On 2-28-04 in Dresden, GER, he knocked out Steve Walker (15-8): in the second round.
On 1-31-04 in Berlin he TKO’d Gabriel Botos (2-24-3): in second round.
He debuted at the age of 23 on 8-16-03.
AMATEUR, PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Abraham was born in Yerevan, Armenia, but moved to Germany when he was 14. He has one brother named Alexander, who is a professional Jr. middleweight with a record of 21-0. His father was the CEO of a company in Russia and his mother was a homemaker. His parents are now retired and live in Germany (Abraham bought a house for them in Berlin).
When Abraham was 14 or 15 he was a successful amateur bicyclist. He was the South German champion twice, but said he found bicycling boring and started boxing at 18.
He reported had 90 amateur fights with a record of 81-6-3.
Abraham returned to Armenia for two years to try out for the 2000 Olympics, but had to fulfill his military obligation and was in the Armenian army for two years instead.
He returned to Germany and turned pro in August, 2003. He first became involved with promoter Sauerland Event as a sparring partner for former IBF and WBA super middleweight world champion Sven Ottke, who was also trained by Ulli Wegner. After two days of sparring, he was signed to a promotional contract.
STRENGTHS: Has good skills and movement…big and physically strong, has good punching power…is versatile – can pressure his opponents effectively, or box and counterpunch…tough, durable, and determined, has tremendous heart…had a strong amateur background…is experienced against good opposition.
WEAKNESSES: Is usually a slow starter…has had problems making weight in recent fights…has had problems with stamina in some fights.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: 5 years, 10 months…29 fights…180 total rounds…91 world championship rounds.
AVERAGE LENGTH OF BOUTS: 6.2 rounds.
KNOCKOUT PERCENTAGE: 79 %.
DISTANCE FIGHTS: 12 rounds – 8 (8-0)…11 rounds – 1 (1-0)…10 rounds – 0.
“King” ARTHUR ABRAHAM
Age: 29 (2-20-80)
Residence: Berlin, Germany
Birthplace: Yerevan, Armenia
Record: 29-0, 23 KOs
Manager: Wilfred Sauerland
Trainer: Ulli Wegner (pr. OO-lee VEG-ner)
Corner: Ulli Wegner (chief second), Georg Bramowski (assistant), Malcolm Garrett (cutman)
“King” ARTHUR ABRAHAM (29-0, 23 KOs)
World championship fights: 10-0, 6 KOs
IBF middleweight world champion, nine successful defenses