Saturday, 13 July 2013

Robert Stieglitz v Yuzo Kiyota

WBO Super Middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz (45-3, 25) began his second reign as champion with a less than inspiring technical decision over Japanese puncher Yuzo Kiyota (23-4-1, 21).

The fight was a very slow burner with no more than a handful of clean punches landed through the first 4 rounds as the men wrestled almost continually. What little clean action did occur was solely single shots which were followed up by the fighters clinching and the referee needing to separate them. In fact for much of the bout the referee was busier than the two fighters combined.

It wasn't until round 5 that we actually had some notable action as Kiyota was deducted a point for hitting on the break, both men pushed the other down and Stieglitz landed a memorable right hand that sent Kiyota backwards but didn't seem to really hurt the Japanese fighter. This was a surprise to many who had assumed that Kiyota couldn't take a shot due to his opening round stoppage loss to Jameson Bostic a few back.

Kiyota's problem was that at range his hand speed was so much slower than that of Stieglitz who was able to land and up close he was being tied up. This saw him reverting to launching hail mary style right hands which often missed by a country mile but ended up with the men messily clinching.

Round 8 was arguably the closest with any real action as as Kiyota landed several hard shots of his own though unfortunately a clash of heads left him with a nasty cut above the right eye. The doctor looked at it between rounds 8 and 9 and decided it was fine to continue though it didn't take long for the challengers face to be covered in his own claret. With Kiyota's face becoming a bloody mess he was taken to the doctor in the middle of the round who said it was again fine to continue.

Unfortunately the doctor's opinion changed the following round with him deciding the cut had worsened partway in to the round taking us to the judges scorecards. Unfortunately for Kiyota the scorecards were widely against him with the point deduction in round 5 just making the gap even wider.

Whilst Stieglitz had looked tremendous in his previous outing (a stoppage over Arthur Abraham) he looked really bad here. Sure he won and that's the important part but every other fighter in the division will be circling him like a pack of vultures.

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