MAGDEBURG, Germany -- Arthur Abraham defeated Robert Stieglitz by split decision on Saturday in their third bout, winning back the WBO super middleweight title he lost to his fellow German in March last year.
Judges Clark Sammartino of the United States and Paul Thomas of Britain scored it 114-111 and 115-110 for Abraham, respectively, while American Michael Pernick judged it 113-112 in favour of the defending champion.
Stieglitz was the more proactive fighter, jabbing, pushing forward, with Abraham biding his time and launching counterattacks. These took their toll towards the end, with Stieglitz dropping to his knee in the final round.
"I can't explain this decision," said Stieglitz, who dropped to 46-4 (26 KOs). "I led for the whole time. I see myself as the winner in any case. I lost the last round but not the whole fight."
Abraham, who beat Stieglitz by unanimous decision in their first bout in 2012 and by TKO last year, improved to 39-4 (28 KOs).
"That was a real battle," Abraham said. "Respect to Stieglitz, respect to my coach. We really saw a good fight. Of course I see myself as the winner. I won through my hard punches."