NORFRHEIN-WESTFALEN, Germany — Former WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm made a successful return to the ring last night in scoring a dominant fourth round TKO over Predrag Radosevic.
Sturm, who still possesses one of the best authoritative jabs in the sport, used that weapon to keep the smaller Radosevic off-balance and on the outside, where he was susceptible to overhand rights. From there, Sturm varied his combinations and scored his first knockdown in the third off a left hook to the body. At times, Sturm allowed Radosevic to get inside, where he used his faster hands to counter with hooks upstairs.
The deciding fourth saw Sturm score two knockdowns. The first was another left hook to the body, this time a counter off a lazy Radosevic right hand. The second was a doubled up left to the body, prompting the referee to wisely call off the bout.
The win is Sturm’s first since his February defeat to Sam Soliman was overturned to a “No Contest” after Soliman tested positive for an illegal stimulant.[youtube http://youtu.be/VXXuJC7VZ9U]
From the crowd, you can see why Sturm hasn’t fought outside of Germany since being robbed in his lone American bout against Oscar De La Hoya back in 2004. He’s a definite rock star in his native land.
Nonetheless, being a rock star doesn’t mean you get to avoid worthy challengers. Gennady Golovkin was a top contender for Sturm’s title for over a year and failed to get a shot. Sturm now is in the unfamiliar role of challenger and will more than likely have to travel to secure a belt. He mentioned in his post-fight interview he’d like the winner of the August Daniel Geale-Darren Barker fight, but that’s longshot with the bout being televised on HBO and Golovkin likely having first dibs on the winner. Sturm also has an option of rematching Martin Murray, who received a dubious 2011 draw in a fight many think Sturm lost.
If Sturm is serious about regaining a title, he’ll hit the road. He’s still a Top 5 midleweight and a handful on any given night. And if HBO is full invested in the middleweight division as it appears they are, the network should find a way to showcase him.