German promoter Universum has confirmed the story that Boxingtalk first broke earlier this week, that Felix Sturm has cancelled a March 6 title defense against Kingsley Ikeke in anticipation of a June 5 bout with Oscar De La Hoya. "It is sad, but with an offer like this we cannot take any risks," said Jean-Marcel Nartz, technical director of Universum. "Due to the positive response and the huge interest we received from the people in Bochum [Germany] and from our business partners we will definitely return to Bochum in the very near future with one of our events." According to a Universum press release, Sturm immediately stopped training for Ikeke in order to prepare for De la Hoya. Sturm's trainer, Michael Timm, added "What we need now is a little rest to digest this positive shock. Afterwards we will start a kind of work that will absolutely be the most wonderful in my career as trainer." Although he holds the WBO middleweight belt, Sturm's credentials are considerably lighter than world middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins. Sturm won the vacant WBO title against Hector Velazco on September 13, 2003. He has one defense, a December victory over Spaniar Ruben Varon.