The dream of the sixth world title has been burst for former champion Felix Sturm.

On Saturday night in Germany, Sturm lost a twelve round majority decision to Hungary's Istvan Szili. After twelve rounds, two of the official judges Marco Morales (113:115) and Giulio Piras (111:116) scored for Szili, while judge Ferenc Budai scored the fight as a draw (114:114).

A good 4,000 spectators in Dortmund's Westfalenhalle had expected Sturm to win big, but the 43-year-old was unable to repeat the performances that made him a superstar in the country.

Szili was the much more active boxer and put Sturm under pressure from the first round with hard head and body shots. Sturm tried to establish his lead hand, throwing in an uppercut here and there. However, he never managed to take control of the contest.

In the third round, the two boxers butted their heads. Cuts then opened above Sturm's nose and around his left eye. After another head clash in round seven, the bleeding around the eye increased. Sturm complained, but referee Ingo Barrabas did not agree any intentional headbutts from the Hungarian boxer.

Just before the end of the eighth, Sturm landed a short hook that seemed to bother Szili. The Hungarian wobbled briefly, but didn't go down. As a result, Sturm got a little stronger, but his final offensive came too late. Szili had already boxed his way to comfortable lead on the scorecards and never tired as the contest played out.

Sturm was hoping the win would lead to a showdown with International Boxing Organization (IBO) champion Lerrone Richards.

He doesn't know where his boxing future will go from here.

"Unfortunately, the fight was very messy. It was a tough fight.... something completely different from what I expected. Unfortunately, he was very dirty, the referee unfortunately let it go on. But I'm a sportsman and accept the verdict," said Sturm.

"I'm going to speak with my family now, I'm still healthy. We'll sit down with the promoter and then make the right decision [regarding my future]."