LEIPZIG (AP)–Armenia’s Arthur Abraham stopped Nigeria’s Kingsley Ikeke in the fifth round to win the vacant IBF middleweight title on Saturday.
Abraham improved to 20-0 with 18 knockouts as he took the title vacated by Jermaine Taylor. Ikeke–ranked second by the IBF–fell to 23-2.
"It was his fight–not mine–I couldn’t stop him," Ikeke said.
Abraham had no trouble hitting the 6-foot-4 Nigerian. By the fourth round–he was taunting Ikeke–and Abraham’s corner told him to stop showing off.
In the fifth–Abraham knocked Ikeke into the ropes with a left–and after several more shots the referee pulled him off Ikeke.
"It may not have looked like it tonight–but I think he beat a world-class guy," said Abraham’s trainer Uli Wegner.