Bright Future Awaits Young German Boxer Tyron Zeuge
The 168 lbs German prospect continues to make waves in the pro ranks and is one we are tipping fight fans to keep an eye out for.
A little over three weeks ago, at the Columbiahalle in Kreuzberg in Berlin, Tyron Zeuge, (17-0, 10 KO) the 23 year old German super-middleweight prospect, defeated Montenegrin veteran Nikola Sjekloca (28-4, 8 KO) by a unanimous points decision. The three judges scored the bout 120 -107, 117- 110 and 117- 110 in favour of the local fighter.
Afterwards Zeuge’s promoter, Kalle Sauerland, tweeted the following “Tyron Zeuge beats Sjekloca on big points decision. But it was the way he beat him that convinces me he will be World Champion 100%.”
Zeuge’s win was indeed impressive, particularly considering the step-up in opponent. Sjekloca, it must be remembered, may well have had three previous defeats on his record prior to proceedings, but these were against high level opposition including current WBO super-middleweight champion Arthur Abraham, the former WBC super-middleweight champion Sakio Bika, and British prospect Callum Smith, from whom big things are expected. In doing so Zeuge became the first fighter of Sjekloca’s 34 fight professional career to drop the savvy Montenegrin, putting him down in the 11th round with a splendid right hand.
The German dominated the vast majority of the fight against the durable Sjekloca. Controlling the distance well, he was able to move in and out of range as he pleased, bruising Sjekloca with a number of powerful right hands. There was a nice variation to Zeuge’s punches, the quality in opponent meant the Berlin-fighter had to use a varying repertoire of shots to grind his man down, impressing as he did so. Credit though to the Montenegrin, who as he always does, came to fight. The 36 year-old gave it his all over the full 12 rounds and Zeuge knew he’d been in a battle by the final bell. Unfortunately the speed of the younger man’s hand and footwork meant Sjekloca came off second best through much of the exchanges.
The German’s defence was again excellent. Sparring with the likes of Arthur Abraham and Juergen Braehmer (WBA regular light-heavyweight champion) has certainly had a positive impact on the 23 year-old and his tight, high-handed guard will be recognisable to anyone familiar with the work of Abraham in particular. The similarities between the two super-middleweights extend further to their orthodox style of fighting, with both liking to throw plenty of straight, powerful punches.
Twists and Turns
One justified criticism of Zeuge prior to this bout has been that his work rate has a tendency to dip over the course of fights, though even his harshest critic would have struggled to take fault with him during this contest. His habit of winding down his level of activity when leading in later rounds would have been foolish and dangerous against such a spirited fighter like Sjekloca. The improvement therefore was noticeable. Throughout Zeuge moved well, outworking his man on the inside and outside with great poise and shot selection, a factor that will only add to the Sauerland’s enthusiasm.
Zeuge’s career has been moving along nicely since he turned professional in March 2012, following success at amateur World Youth level. He’s been matched well thus far against a combination of experienced fighters, who have taken him invaluable rounds, and young, developing boxers like himself. Add to that the benefits of being a part of the Sauerland stable, meaning regular exposure to German television audiences on the undercards of a number of world title fights and big domestic clashes, has culminated in a WBO ranking of No.7 as of April 2015.
What Could Be Next
The future for Zeuge looks as bright as it could be for a young fighter on the periphery of world title contention. Sauerland Promotions will no doubt already have a time frame in mind as to how quickly they want to move their man along, though there is no need to rush, something Zeuge has spoken often of himself in post-fight interviews of the need to follow the plans set out for him as he continues his development.
Events of the past week though may suggest that we can expect some big fights for the 23 year-old over the course of the next twelve months. Following Fedor Chudinov’s (13-0, 10 KO’s) split decision win over another Sauerland fighter, Felix Sturm (39-5-3, 18 KO’s), for the vacant WBA ‘regular’ super-middleweight title, Kalle Sauerland gave an interview to Seconds Out in which he was asked what he saw as some of the big, future match-ups for the new Russian champion. Sauerland’s response “I’d love to do Tyron Zeuge or Vincent Feigenbutz (another young super-middleweight under his promotional banner) against him” suggests that those plans may be very much nearing fruition over the next 12 months.
There won’t be a lack of competition for Zeuge when he finally does take that final leap into the higher echelons of the super-middleweight division, and nor will he have to look far for it. Robert Stieglitz, Arthur Abraham and Felix Sturm may all have 10 years or more in age on the young Berlin-fighter, but a fight against Zeuge could very well be extremely lucrative for the three German super-middleweights in time. Sauerland Promotions may even entertain the idea of a fight between Zeuge and Abraham and/or Sturm as something of a passing of the torch which could draw big numbers.
Clashes against Vincent Feigenbutz or George Groves, both Sauerland fighters, are fights that may be ear-marked for the future, whilst further afield the ongoing business relationship between Sauerland Promotions and Matchroom Sport in the UK mean Zeuge may have arrived to the party with optimum timing. A recent deal between Eddie Hearn and the Sauerland brothers, allowing their fighters to be shown on one another’s broadcasters can only mean greater exposure for talents like Zeuge. Similarly the Matchroom stable is home to a number of top super-middleweights including James Degale, Callum Smith and Rocky Fielding, some of whom we may see in the ring with Zeuge in the non-too distant future.
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