Big surprise: German boxer Felix Sturm lost his duel with Istvan Szili on points. He thus missed his chance to fight for the world championship.

Felix Sturm unexpectedly missed his sixth chance for a boxing world championship. The 43-year-old lost the elimination fight against the four years younger Hungarian Istvan Szili on points in the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund on Saturday and thus missed the duel with the Briton Lerrone Richards for the world championship belt of the IBO.

Szili, who was ahead by a majority of the judges after 12 rounds, won the title. The super middleweight Sturm has already been world champion five times, albeit with the important WBA, WBO and IBF federations.

“Fight was unfortunately very messy”

“It was a tough fight. Something completely different than I expected. It was very messy unfortunately, the referee let it go. But I am a sportsman and I accept the verdict,” Sturm said. He did not want to commit himself to a possible end of his career. “I’m talking to my family now, I’m still healthy. We’ll sit down with the promoter and then make the right decision.”

Already from the third round Sturm was marked by the fight, but not by a hit from Szili. The referee interpreted an action of the Hungarian as an accidental headbutt, which caused Sturm to suffer a cut. The former world champion continued to box in his typical waiting and countering manner, trying to get control of the fight. However, his cutman found it difficult to stop the bleeding above his left eye and the seventh round had to be stopped 38 seconds before the end. Only with the ring doctor’s approval was Sturm allowed to continue the fight.

Sturm wobbled in the eighth round

Szili became more and more offensive, working Sturm with furious punch combinations. Shortly before the end of the eighth round, the Hungarian penetrated with a hook, Sturm wobbled precariously for the first time. Contrary to Sturm’s hopes, Szili did not tire in the final rounds and boxed his style confidently until the end. Already ten seconds before the end of the fight Szili raised his arms triumphantly.