Abraham TKOs Marquez in sixth to defend IBF middleweight title

BAMBERG, Germany -- Arthur Abraham defeated Raul Marquez by technical knockout Saturday to defend his IBF middleweight boxing title for the eighth time and remain undefeated.

Abraham landed two rights to Marquez's right eye in the sixth round and the challenger's camp called off the fight just before the seventh was due to start.

The bout in Bamberg's Jako Arena was originally scheduled for Oct. 4 but was postponed when Abraham came down with the flu.

Abraham (28-0, 22 KOs) said he was disappointed that Marquez's camp called off the fight.

"I can't really understand why he gave up," said Abraham, nicknamed "King Arthur." "I really wanted to start going at him in earnest starting in the sixth round. But he gave up too early and disappointed the spectators."

The 37-year-old Marquez (41-4-1, 29 KOs), who was the mandatory challenger, said he lost to a better fighter.

"For a while I think I hit him with some good shots," Marquez said. "But he kept coming like a brick wall. And then he came and hit me twice in the eye and gave me a cut. He's a deserved champion."

Abraham came out more aggressive than usual in the first round and then connected on two heavy rights, a right-left combo and a flurry of hits in the third round.

The defending champion began gesturing for Marquez to come closer in the fourth and the challenger responded by trying to pound the Armenian-born German's body.

In the decisive sixth round, Abraham landed his two rights to Marquez's head midway through the round and continued to take the initiative.

Abraham said after the fight he would like his next bout to be against Germany's Felix Sturm for the WBA middleweight title.

"I say here in front of 10,000 I am ready to box him," Abraham said. "I can't say anything else."