Tyron Zeuge, Isaac Ekpo mandatory rematch postponed to next year

The mandatory rematch between super middleweight world titleholder Tyron Zeuge and Isaac Ekpo, which was scheduled for Dec. 2 at MBS Arena in Potsdam, Germany, has been postponed.

Team Sauerland promoter Kalle Sauerland, who promotes Zeuge, told ESPN on Sunday that the fight was postponed "due to Zeuge being ill. Rescheduling to March, hopefully." The rest of the card will go on as planned with the original 10-round co-feature of heavyweight up-and-comer Otto Wallin (18-0, 12 KOs), 27, of Sweden, taking on Gabriel Enguema (8-3, 5 KOs), 33, of Spain, moving into the main event position.

Zeuge (21-0-1, 11 KOs), who is due to make the third defense of his secondary 168-pound title, and Ekpo (31-3, 24 KOs) first met on March 25, also at the MBS Arena, and Zeuge retained the belt via competitive fifth-round technical decision. He 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, 35, of Nigeria, requested a rematch and was granted one, but Zeuge, 25, of Germany, was first allowed an optional defense, which he made June 17 in a one-sided decision victory against England's Paul Smith.