Sharkie's Machine: Arthur Abraham Dispatches Mahir Oral in 10
By Frank Gonzalez Jr. exclusive to Doghouse Boxing (June 28, 2009)  
IBF Middleweight titlist “King Arthur” Abraham (30-0, 24 KO’s) is an interesting study in pugilistic styles. Abraham’s victory Saturday night in Germany over a former sparring partner, Mahir Oral (25-2, 2, 7 KO’s) was a microcosm of all of Abraham’s fights. He starts out slow, maybe even loses the first couple of rounds and then, after he has sufficiently studied his opponent’s tendencies and tactics, he unleashes his power with sudden bursts of offense. And though Abraham gives the impression of being slow, he can generate good speed when he lets his hands go.

Abraham has a sturdy chin and good durability in general but against a versatile fighter with some pop—Abraham seems vulnerable. In his first fight against the formerly formidable Edison Miranda, Abraham was losing and taking plenty of punishment but the referee took a total of five points from Miranda, three times for a few borderline low blows that saw Abraham win on points in a fight he should have lost. Abraham redeemed himself by knocking out Miranda in four rounds in a rematch later on. So far, he remains unbeaten and has shown a hell of a beard and impressive one punch power.

Mahir Oral had little in the way of power but proved to be a good technical boxer. He also fought aggressively throughout the fight, landing some good combinations that included a big right cross and a left hook that punctuated the third round. Oral outworked Abraham and landed enough clean punches to win the first three rounds on my scorecard.

In the fourth round, Abraham started revving up his offense and paid for it when Oral countered his attacks but Abraham landed a few fast combinations followed by a left hook that floored Oral, who got up quick enough but seemed a bit stunned when the round ended a few seconds later. That first knockdown looked like the beginning of the end for the cagey Turk with the competent boxing skills and the big heart.

But Oral was undeterred and did well in the fifth round to use his jab and try to reassert himself as the better boxer. Abraham landed a big right at the end of the round that nullified Oral’s valiant efforts.

In the sixth, Abraham caught Oral with a big right that dropped him. Interestingly, Oral never clinched in this fight. After getting dropped, Oral pressured Abraham and showed big heart under fire.

In the seventh, Oral was finding his composure and pressed Abraham with his jab and some scoring combinations. Oral didn’t have any noticeable power but gave his best, landing a pair of clean left hooks after outworking Abraham in the seventh.

Early in the eighth, Abraham landed a left, right combo that landed cleanly. Oral responded by pressuring Abraham towards the ropes. Abraham fought his way off the ropes but Oral countered him nicely as he appeared to wrest back the momentum he started earlier. In spite of being hit with heavy shots in spots, Oral showed good defense.

In the ninth, Abraham came on strong and scored some power punches that slowed Oral to a more manageable pace. Oral had absorbed some leather and was beginning to fade. Abraham capped the round with a couple of rights that stunned Oral some more.

In the tenth, Abraham landed a left hook that sent Oral to the canvas for the third time in the fight. Oral got up and Abraham landed a body shot that saw Oral take a knee. The ref counted with cautious eyes. When action resumed, Abraham moved in and started to rally. Abraham again landed a shot to the body and again Oral took a knee. That was enough for the referee, who waved the fight off. Arthur Abraham was the winner by TKO in nine.

During the post fight interview, Abraham was asked if he plans to stay at 160 or move up to 168 to fight the likes of Mikkel Kessler, Carl Froch, Lucian Bute, Andre Ward or even Andre Dirrell. Abraham smiled and said he wants to fight in America and that he wants the big fights. Whether its at 160 or 168 is yet to be determined. The question of fighting Kelly Pavlik at 160 is already sidelined by the IBF mandating that Abraham fight Giovanni Lorenzo next.

Kelly Pavlik (35-1, 31 KO’s) is possibly the best Middleweight on this side of the planet. Supposedly, Abraham is the best in Europe at 160 and since both are titlists, its clear why that fight won’t happen; the sanctioning bodies don’t like to sanction unification matches. What a rip-off! Boxing needs to be rid of these ridiculous Sanctioning bodies that act as an impediment to true competition and any legitimate structure in boxing.

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