IBF middleweight champion “King’’ Arthur Abraham puts his undefeated record and title on the line against world-ranked Mahir “Lion” Oral in a special Saturday primetime edition of ShoBox: The New Generation, on June 27, 2009, on SHOWTIME® at 9 p.m. ET/PT (same day, tape delay). The site of the scheduled 12-round world championship fight is Abraham’s hometown of Berlin, Germany, and will take place at the Max-Schmeling Halle.
In his only fight in the United States, just over a year ago, Abraham made his debut on SHOWTIME with a fourth-round TKO over Edison Miranda in Hollywood, Fla. It was a rematch of their previous bout on Sept. 23, 2006, in Wetzlar, Germany, in which Abraham won a controversial 12-round unanimous decision to give Miranda his first loss in 26 fights. It was Abraham’s third IBF title defense.
Abraham, 29, enters the June 27 fight—his ninth IBF title defense—with a 29-0 record (23 KOs) while Oral is 25-1-2 (10 KOs). Sauerland Events will promote the fight.
In his last start on March 14, the aggressive-minded, hard-hitting Abraham successfully defended his crown with a 12-round decision against Lajuan Simon in Kiel, Germany.
A former sparring partner of the defending champion, Oral is a German boxer of Turkish descent who has won his last 18 fights. The 6-foot-1, 29-year-old fights out of Hamburg, Germany, and, like Abraham, has fought the majority of his fights in Germany. Unbeaten since March 2004, he is a skilled, well-conditioned, quick-handed boxer with nice moves who throws a variety of combinations. In his last outing, he recorded an eighth-round TKO over Alexander Sipos on Nov. 18, 2008, in Cuxhaven, Germany.
Said Oral’s manager Ahmet Öner: “Many others in the middleweight division are avoiding Arthur because they don’t think they have any chance against him, but I told Mahir that he has nothing to lose. Should he actually be beaten, then it will be against the strongest ever world champion in his weight division. And that is Arthur Abraham. So we have nothing to lose.
Oral has captured several minor belts, but this is his first opportunity at a world title. He has campaigned at or around 160 pounds since turning pro on March 4, 2000. His only losses came between March 2003 and March 2004 when he followed back-to-back draws with the only defeat in his career.