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Soviet Germans: Robert Stieglitz


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This is the first part of a yet another new thread that I got the idea for yesterday. Since there are several noteworthy German boxers who came from the former Soviet Union, mostly Kazakhstan but also other parts, I thought it would be fun to make a thread about each of them. I was at first thinking of making a list, but that would be too exhausting, knowing from my experiences with the previous such threads. So, I give you: SOVIET GERMAN BOXERS! First, some history: after world war 2, Joseph Stalin deported most or all ethnic Germans from the Volga region to faraway regions and states of Soviet, with most of them ending up in Kazakhstan. Even though Nikita Khrushchev, Stalin's successor, later changed the law and allowed the Germans to return, most of them stayed where they had been deported, probably out of fear of not being treated very well by the Russian population back home. Eventually, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 90's, a large number of these Germans emigrated to their original motherland-Germany. And this is how SOVIET GERMAN BOXERS got to be!


First one, and probably the best one of them, is Robert Stieglitz. He was actually born in Russia, Yeysk- a port town in southern Russia, belonging to the Krasnodar district, southwest in the country. He was originally called Sergey Shtiklits, the latter being the Russian version of his German name Stieglitz. It was on 20 June 1981 the future two-time world champion was born. He said he always felt as a foreigner in Yeysk and took the first chance he could to move to Germany, his ancestors homeland. He also changed his first name to Robert there. The 5'11 Stieglitz first had 90 amateur fights and won 80 of them, before turning pro in April 2001, before turning 20. Because of his youth, early on he was only eligible to fight for the youth versions of titles and in October 2002 he won the IBF Youth light heavy title by UD10 against Sergey Karanevich of Belarus. He was trained by Torsten Schmitz initially and later by Dirk Dzemski and managed by Ulf Steinforth. After making 3 defences of that title, Stieglitz decided he wanted to go down to super middleweight and in February 2004 he also won the IBF Intercontinental Youth title there by stopping Galen Brown by TKO7. He defended it five times and then fought the Colombian puncher Alejandro Berrio in an IBF-eliminator on 3 December 2005, in Magdeburg, Germany. He eventually overpowered the dangerous 6'1 Berrio and stopped him by TKO11. However, for some reason, he didn't get to fight for the IBF title until 3 March 2007 and his opponent was again Berrio! This time the fight was in Rostock and Stieglitz was ahead after 2 rounds, but in the third he was put down twice and stopped with 20 seconds to go. It was a big blow and his first loss after 29 straight wins. Berrio would go on to lose the title to Lucian Bute soon, and on 22 March 2008, Stieglitz faced the teak-tough Mexican Librado Andrade in an eliminator for the Bute fight. It was the first time Stieglitz had to go to USA for a fight and had to fight a three-inches taller opponent in Andrade. It was a true slugfest and a rather even fight, until the 8th when Andrade stunned Stieglitz with a power combination and finished him off with several big punches before the ref jumped in. Strike two for Stieglitz.


In December that same year, he went to Austria to fight 22-0 Lukas Wilaschek for the vacant WBC International title and beat him by SD12, after getting one point taken away for rabbit punching. On 22 August 2009, he got to fight for the WBO title against the Hungarian Karoly Balzsay, the defending champion, in Budapest. Here he would finally realize his goal by battering Balzsay into surrendering on his stool after 10 rounds. Balzsay was taken out of the ring on a stretcher. He made no less than 6 successful defenses as the WBO champion, stopping Ruben Edouardo Acosta by TKO5, decisioning the brother of Andrade, Enrique Ornelas, and beating Khoren Gevor by a disqualification in 10. He also beat another fellow Soviet-German, Eduard Gutknecht, on points in one of the defences. He finally lost the belt to Arthur Abraham on 25 August 2012, losing by UD with the scores of 115-113 and 116-112 twice. Some have called the decision controversial and a rematch was issued, which took place on 23 March next year in Magdeburg. Stieglitz became the only man to sensationally stop Abraham when he suddenly exploded at the end of round 3 and hit him with a flurry of punches against the ropes. Abraham finished the round on shaky legs and was dazed, unable to answer the bell for round 4. His left eye was also completely closed. This time, Stieglitz would make 2 defenses, first stopping Yuzo Kiyota by TKO10 and then decisioning Isaac Ekpo by a wide UD. On 1 March 2014, he again lost the title to his old nemesis Abraham, after taking the knee in the twelfth and the last round and losing by split decision. It was a very close fight where Stieglitz was the aggressor while Abraham focused on counterpunching. After fighting to a split draw with Felix Sturm on 8 November that year, next year he faced Abraham for the fourth and final time, 18 July in Halle. Stieglitz was obviously no longer himself by then, as he was put down in round 4 and stopped on his feet in round 6, thus losing by a TKO and the quadrilogy ending 1-3 in Abraham's favor, even though 2 of those wins were questionable. At the end of his career, Stieglitz went back to light heavyweight and on 12 November 2016 won the European title by UD against Mehdi Amar, before defending it once with a split draw against Nikola Sjekloca, on 18 March next year. That proved to be his last fight and he was 36 when he retired. His record is 50 wins with 28 ko's, 5 losses and 2 draws. He has been stopped three times and 3 of his losses were of course to the same man.


It is noteworthy to say that Joe Calzaghe refused to fight Stieglitz after winning the IBF title from Jeff Lacy and defending it against Sakio Bika, both in 2006. That is why Stieglitz had to wait till 2007 to fight for it and against the man he had already beaten, which was unfortunate since Berrio had a clear thirst for revenge and thus a stronger motive to win. Stieglitz was never one of the most popular fighters outside of Germany, maybe because he was not flashy and was simply a very strong and tough and durable fighter, who possessed alright power and pretty good skills. Never a one-punch type hitter, he would instead break his opponents down before stopping them. And guys like that never had an easy time, because usually they had to work very hard to get their victory-which is why one must have respect for them. That was my thread on Robert Stieglitz, one of the SOVIET GERMAN BOXING CHAMPIONS!



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--- Timely time to be covering the former Soviet Empire with their incredible array of ethnic diversity and factions.


Putin suffered a first round broken nose TKO his only boxing match, so took up Judo, specifically the Sambo branch of the Russians where he earned a black belt.


Top Topic, Boz!

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