Universum Box-Promotion has responded to WBA middleweight Felix Sturm, who had declared himself free of any obligations to the German boxing powerhouse. Universum contends Sturm has breached his contract:
Statement: Contrary to stories in the press put about by Sturm’s side in the last few weeks, Felix Sturm remains under exclusive contract to Universum. Universum will take any legal steps necessary to ensure that Felix Sturm remains obliged to fulfill his exclusive contract with Universum until 2012, when the contract ends. We will not tolerate his participation in any boxing matches which violate our exclusive contractual rights.
Following Mr. Sturm’s rejection of an offer by Universum of a voluntary title defense bout to be fought in November or December 2009, the WBA (World Boxing Association) ruled that Mr. Sturm must defend his world champion title in a mandatory title bout by April 2010 at the latest. The official challenger was named by the WBA as Gennady Golovkin, who is currently ranked no. 2 in the world and who is also under contract to Universum. Universum has asked for Mr. Sturm’s cooperation in arranging this fight to ensure that it can be carried out in accordance with contractual provisions and with the WBA rules.
Universum and Felix Sturm have worked together for years, and until recently (Mr. Sturm’s last title defense bout at the Nürburgring on July 11, 2009), their partnership has been successful and mutually satisfactory. We have put much time, energy and patience into enabling Mr. Sturm to attain the status of world champion – including procuring him a fight against boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya in Las Vegas. We stood by him unconditionally when a KO defeat lost him his title in the summer of 2006, and continued to work with him and for him to become world champion again.
Until our last joint boxing match at the Nürburgring, we had not the slightest indication that Mr. Sturm was anything other than completely satisfied with this extraordinarily successful and loyal partnership. We can thus only conclude that his entirely unforeseen attempt to terminate the contract in August 2009 and the public provocations of the past few weeks are primarily the result of the influence of external advisers.