Last night at Messehalle in Leipzig, Germany, super middleweight Robert Stieglitz kept hold of his WBO title with a wide points decision over visiting Nigerian opponent Isaac Ekpo.
Ekpo, 22-2 (16), had previously boxed domestic-level competition and won regional African belts but his distinct lack of world class experience was a definite disadvantage in challenging Stieglitz, 46-3 (26), who had 11 previous world title fights.
Abuja based Ekpo spent most of the bout on the defensive, unable to navigate his way into a cohesive offense. Stieglitz was at a loss to deal with such a negative opponent but won rounds by simply outworking his opponent.
It was not an entertaining contest but heated up when the challenger finally went on the offensive in the final rounds, connecting at a good percentage but Stieglitz got through the difficulty and cruised to a 119-109, 119-109, 118-110 UD.
Also on the bill, heavyweight Manuel Charr, 25-1 (15), had a difficult time with busy opponent Denis Bakhtov, 36-9 (24), before Bakhtov didn't come out for the sixth round after injuring a hand.
The much shorter Bakhtov outworked Charr, who could not pin down the fleet-footed Russian, but neither man scored with any punches of significance.
Charr retains three regional WBC belts and wins a fourth, ensuring the 29 year old Syrian will get a rematch with WBC champion Vitali Klitschko, whom had little difficulty against Charr in 2012 in a fourth round cuts related stoppage.