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Abraham retains WBO belt despite 'broken hand'

AP - Sports

BERLIN (AP) -- Arthur Abraham retained his WBO super middleweight belt by defeating Nikola Sjekloca of Montenegro by unanimous decision on Saturday.

The judges awarded it 117-113, 116-112, 119-110 to the defending champion, who relied primarily on his left jab after suggesting during the bout that he broke his right hand.

''I don't want to make excuses but I had to box the fight with my left,'' Abraham said. ''The fingers were already broken from the last fight. I had to do a lot with the left in training. That's why it was so close, though he's also a good fighter.''

The Armenian-born German improved to 40-4 (28 KOs) after defending the title he won back from Robert Stieglitz by split decision on March 1.

Abraham relied increasingly on his left jab as the bout went on. He indicated his right hand was broken only to be told by Ulli Wegner, his trainer, to carry on.

''It's all the same to me if your hand is sore,'' the veteran trainer said. ''It's about staying the champion. You've enough time afterward to heal it.''

Abraham did enough to hang on.

Sjekloca, who dropped to 26-2 (8 KOs), suggested he wasn't fully focused as he's about to become a father to twins.

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