Tyron Zeuge vs. Isaac Ekpo 2 – Results
By Jim Dower: WBA World super middleweight champion Tyron Zeuge (22-0-1, 12 KOs) destroyed #1 WBA mandatory challenger Isaac Ekpo (32-4, 25 KOs) by a 2nd round knockout last Saturday night in their rematch at the Iselparkhalle, in Hamburg, Germany.
Zeuge, 25, knocked down the 35-year-old Ekpo twice. The referee Mark Nelson stopped the fight after Ekpo was dropped in the 2nd round. The official time of the stoppage was at 0:23 of round 2.
In round 1, Zeuge knocked Ekpo down in the final seconds with a big left-right combination. Ekpo was badly hurt as he got back to his feet. Fortunately for Ekpo the round ended just after he got back to his feet.
At the start of round 2, the German Zeuge went after Ekpo right away, nailing him with heavy shots to the head that put him down for the second time in the fight. When Ekpo got to his feet, the referee Mark Nelson stopped the fight after taking a close look at him and deciding to stop the contest.
This was Zeuge’s second victory over Ekpo. Last year in on March 25, Zeuge defeated Ekpo by a 5th round technical decision in Potsdam, Germany. The fight was halted due to a bad cut that Zeuge had suffered from a clash of heads in round 2. Zeuge had problems seeing out of his right eye, and he made it clear the moment that he was cut that he was having issues with the eye.
At the time the fight was halted, Ekpo appeared to have gotten the better of Zeuge, but the judges gave him the win by the scores 49-46, 48-47 ad 49-47. Ekpo got the better of Zeuge in rounds 3, 4 and 5. The first two rounds were close and could either way. Ekpo at least was given a rematch. That was a good thing that came out of his controversial loss.
Last Saturday night, Ekpo didn’t look like the same fighter. From the opening seconds of the fight, Zeuge looked more dangerous with big power shots he was landing to the head of Ekpo. It wasn’t surprising that Zeuge dropped Ekpo near the end of the round as he was nailing him with chopping sots with mean intentions.
It was a good victory for Zeuge. The win doesn’t suggest that Zeuge would be able to beat the other champions at 168. I would favor WBO belt holder Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez, WBC champion David Benavidez and WBA Super champion George Groves over Zeuge. I think Zeuge is a better fighter than IBF champion Caleb Truax though. Zeuge looks good enough to beat Truax, but not Groves, Ramirez or Benavidez.
The win for Zeuge was his third successful title defense of his WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight title. Zeuge proved that he’s one of the better fighters in the 168 lb. division. I rate Zeuge was the 10th best super middleweight in the division right now. Zeuge is a good fighter, but not quite as good as some of the champions and contenders. Zeuge has got a good situation going with the World Boxing Association having 2 world champions at super middleweight. If the WBA ever orders Zeuge to fight WBA Super World champion Groves, he could have some problems.
Zeuge will likely make a voluntary defense in his next fight. I don’t expect him to face any of the other champions in a unification fight. That would be too risky. In Zeuge’s voluntary defense last year, he beat fringe contender Paul Smith by a 12 round unanimous decision. I could see Zeuge facing Smith again or someone like #10 WBA David Brophy or #8 WBA Avni Yildirim. I don’t see Zeuge taking a risky fight against one of the good fighters in the division. Zeuge is a talented fighter, but he has major limits to his game that would be exposed if he fought someone really good.