Felix Sturm secures second comeback win in five-time champ quest

Felix Sturm remains focused on becoming a five-time world champion in his forties after securing a second comeback victory at the weekend.

Eric Armit reports.

Hamburg, Germany: Light Heavy: Felix Sturm (42-5-3,1ND) W PTS 10 James Kraft (19-1-1).

Heavy: Senad Gashi (21-3) W Hussein Muhamed (16-0).

Super Middle: Vincent Feigenbutz (33-3) W KP 9 Nuhu Lawal (27-9).

Felix Sturm vs. Kraft

Sturm continues his comeback with unanimous demission over unbeaten Kraft. The 18-year younger Kraft tried to set a fast pace and take the fight to Sturm and made the former title-holder work hard.

Kraft threw plenty of punches rocking Sturm in the fifth, but Sturm’s experience was important. He stayed cool, scoring with solid, accurate punching and when under pressure, blocked, dodged, and used clever upper body movement to get away from Kraft’s punches.

There were no knockdowns, and neither fighter was ever in trouble, so Sturm managed ten rounds of useful work to prepare himself for bigger fights. Scores 99-93, 97-94, and 96-94 for Strum. At 42 and having been out of the ring for almost four years before returning with a win in December, Sturm has a limited shelf life.

Kraft had been kept away from any tough tests but boxed well here and is still only 24.  

Muhamed vs. Gashi 

Muhamed wins the vacant WBC International Silver title with victory over more experienced Gashi.

Muhamed cleverly used his longer reach and  5” height advantages to work outside, with Gashi having success with body punches.

Gashi slipped to the canvas under pressure from Muhamed in the second and was given a count.  There were some fierce exchanges in the fifth, with Muhamed scoring a genuine knockdown. Pressure from Gashi over the closing rounds made the fight close, but he could not claw back the points from the two knockdowns, with Muhamad emerging as a clear winner.

Scores 97-91, 96-94, and 95-93 for Muhamad. This was a big step-up in the quality of opposition for the 6’5”  German Muhamad, who adds another interesting factor to the European heavyweight scene. Kosovo-born southpaw Gashi has come up short in step-up fights against Carlos Takam and Dereck Chisora.

Feigenbutz vs. Lawal

Feigenbutz keeps busy with a ninth-round win over Lawal. Feigenbutz settled for dominating the ring center and controlling the fight with his jab over the opening rounds. He upped his pace from the fourth before flooring Lawal in the fifth.

Feigenbutz kept up the pressure and ended it the ninth when with Lawal pinned against the ropes, he landed a cluster of punches, and Lawal went down and was counted out. Although nothing is signed, the talk matches Sturm, which would be a big attraction. Lawal, 39, falls to 2-7 in his last 9 fights.

Elsewhere in the USA, Harold Calderon was victorious.

Miami, FL, USA: Welter: Harold Calderon (25-0) W RTD 4 Ramal Amanov (16-4). 

Calderon halts late substitute Amanov in four rounds. From the first, Calderon was targeting Amanov’s body, and the Miami-based Azeri quickly began to wilt. Calderon kept up the pressure rocking Amanov and pounding to the body until Amanov’s team pulled their man out of the fight.

Chicago-born Nicaraguan Calderon has 17 wins by KO/TKO but has been carefully matched. Amanov suffers his fourth inside the distance loss in a row.