The mandatory rematch between super middleweight world titleholder Tyron Zeuge and Isaac Ekpo will take place on Dec. 2 at MBS Arena in Potsdam, Germany, Zeuge promoter Team Sauerland announced on Tuesday.
Zeuge (21-0-1, 11 KOs), who will be making the third defense of his secondary 168-pound title, and Ekpo (31-3, 24 KOs) first met March 25, also at the MBS Arena, and Zeuge retained the belt via competitive fifth-round technical decision.
Zeuge won by scores of 49-46, 48-47 and 49-47 in a fight cut short when an accidental head butt in the third round left Zeuge with a nasty cut over his right eye. Although Zeuge continued to fight for two more rounds, he was deemed unable to continue in the fifth round as blood streamed down his face and his vision was impaired, so the fight was sent to the scorecards for a technical decision.
Ekpo, 34, of Nigeria, requested a rematch and was granted one, but Zeuge was first allowed an optional defense, which he made June 17 in a one-sided decision against England's Paul Smith.
Now the rematch with Ekpo is on and Zeuge, 25, of Germany, said he is happy to face him again to set the record straight.
"I really wanted the rematch with Ekpo," Zeuge said. "This time around, I'm going to prove that I am not only the better boxer, but the wiser man in the ring."
Zeuge is trained by former light heavyweight titleholder Juergen Braehmer, who is still an active fighter and participating in the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight tournament. Braehmer (49-3, 35 KOs) advanced to the semifinals with a one-sided decision victory against Rob Brant on Oct. 27.
To prepare for Brant, Braehmer sparred with his pupil Zeuge. When Zeuge trains for Ekpo his trainer will be there to offer him the same help he gave him.
"In his preparation for Brant, I gave Juergen the best possible training," Zeuge said. "Now, he will pay me back by giving me the best possible training, and then we can reward ourselves with a victory over Ekpo. It's that easy."