Fielding KOs Zeuge in 5 to Become the New WBA ‘Regular’ Champion
By: Ste Rowen
In Offenburg, Germany’s Baden-Arena, Rocky Fielding became the new WBA ‘Regular’ super middleweight champion after stopping the previously unbeaten, Tyron Zeuge with an impressive 5th round stoppage.
Before tonight Zeuge was 22-0-1 (12KOs) and knew he was in with a arguably his toughest opposition to date but, after a jittery opening minute and a half, both fighters began to show intent, though the quality was lacking, throwing ambitious hooks that put a block on the others attack rather than do any damage.
In recent performances, Zeuge has had success from leading off the jab to setup his offence, but in the early rounds neither boxer seemed very interested in anything other than attempting to throw power punches from all angles.
The fight remained close heading into the 4th, although the German looked to be having slightly more success. Fielding, who trains alongside the likes of Carl Frampton and Martin Murray, under the tutelage of Jamie Moore & Nigel Travis, appeared, for the time being at least, comfortable fighting off the back foot. But as the cliché goes, you have to rip the belt from the champion. Especially when the belt holder is fighting on home turf in his 6th defence.
With a minute left of round 4 the challenger sensed this and kicked it up a notch. Rocky landed quickfire combinations forcing, Zeuge onto the backfoot and eventually the ropes. The champion survived until the bell, but for the first time tonight he clearly looked in a lot of discomfort.
Into the 5th and Fielding was clearly on top and enjoying himself, shooting off more of those left and right combinations, which not only took a toll on Tyron, but also killed off the early atmosphere the home crowd attempted to bring.
With 30 seconds left of round 5, Rocky landed a massive left uppercut which left his opposition visibly shaken. The challenger wasted no time in going in for the finisher, landing simultaneously with another left-hand uppercut and body shot sending the now, former champ, down and keeping him there, bringing an end to the bout, meaning Rocky Fielding was now the new, WBA ‘Regular’ super middleweight champion of the world.
‘’It feels amazing. The fact that I come to the champion’s backyard and stopped him. Everything Jamie (Moore) said was on point. I broke him down. Jamie said, the first six and we’ll see where he’s at.’’
‘’He (Zeuge) likes to fall in but he doesn’t do nothing. When he’s in close, he’ll just tap. When we were up close it was like 1-2 ‘bang’ around the side and he wasn’t firing back and that’s what finished him.’’
‘’This was my chance. What do I do after here if nothing happens? This is my dream…The distractions are gone and once I get my mind clear I had that fear factor and I’m switched on.’’
Now 27-1 (15KOs), the post-fight interview turned to what was next for England’s newest champion, although the Liverpudlian seemed unsure if there was a rematch clause in place,
‘’I’d like to defend it in the Echo Arena in my home city, but I doubt Tyron Zeuge will want to take me on again. I’ll have a rest and after a few weeks sit down with my team and see what the plan is.’’
‘’I just want to embrace this for a bit.’’
Tyron Zeuge vs. Rocky Fielding Preview
By: Ste Rowen
This Saturday night in Germany, WBA ‘Regular’ super middleweight champion, Tyron Zeuge, 22-0-1 (12KOs) takes on, Commonwealth and recently-vacated British champion, Rocky Fielding, 26-1 (14KOs) at Offenburg’s, Baden-Arena, for the fourth defence of his secondary title.
Zeuge, fighting in Germany for the 24th time in his 24-fight pro career, defended his WBA strap just over a year ago when he took on Fielding’s fellow Brit and Liverpudlian, Paul Smith Jr, dropping the 3-time world title challenger, along the way to earning a dominant 12-round decision, and though from the 1st bell the victory never seemed in doubt, Tyron’s lack of power left the crowd wanting something more from the man hoping to emulate fellow countrymen, Arthur Abraham and current trainer, Juergen Braehmer by making big waves in the 168lb division, but he had the opportunity, in his first bout since the Smith fight, to prove to the German fans he had the ability to finish opponents when he took on Isaac Ekpo for a second time in March this year.
Photo Credit: Rocky Fielding Twitter Account
The first time the German met Nigerian, Ekpo it ended early when Zeuge suffered a cut near his right eye and the bout was called a Technical Decision victory to Zeuge in the 5th round. So, there was unfinished business for the two fighters heading into the March event. This time the WBA strap holder made lightwork of Isaac, dropping his opponent once at the end of the 1st and then landing a multitude of huge right hooks in round 2, dropping Ekpo again and forcing the referee into ending the bout.
Speaking to German website ‘BOXSPORT’, Tyron is confident he’ll still be unbeaten after Saturday,
‘I’m not too concerned with my opponent. Juergen (Braehmer) took a close look at Fielding and analysed him… He is a fighter, this will certainly be a good fight.’
And whether Fielding is his toughest opponent to date?
‘Hard to say, the next opponent is always the hardest.’
Three months ago, Fielding was apparently in talks to face another champion in Mexican, Gilberto Ramirez, the current WBO champion, but instead finds himself fighting for a lesser belt in, some would say, an even more hostile environment in Germany, as opposed to a US showdown with Ramirez.
But speaking to ‘Boxing News Online’ the former British and current Commonwealth champion is confident in his own ability to silence the crowd, and if it goes the distance, win over the judges,
‘It’s an opportunity that’s been presented to me and I have to take it, wherever it is I’ll go…The pressures on him to keep that belt in front of his home crowd.’
‘Zeuge is a good fighter, he does everything well, but I think I’ve boxed the better opponents…and I think I punch harder.’
Rocky is on a 5-fight win streak since he was knocked out in one round by current World Boxing Super Series finalist, Callum Smith back in 2015. The Liverpool native has earned completive, split 12-round decisions over Christopher Rebrasse and John Ryder, as well as 3 stoppage victories, the most impressive coming against Scotsman, David Brophy in November last year when Fielding took less than 60 seconds to wipe out then, 19-1-1, Brophy, whose only other loss came at the hands of current WBA ‘Super’ champion, George Groves.
It’s power that could be the real gamechanger if Fielding is to win. He’ll have the slight height advantage when the two meet, but arguably Zeuge’s best asset is the ramrod jab he’s displayed in his biggest fights, most notably when he took on Smith last year and no doubt from the 1st bell on Saturday it will be the German who attempts to immediately establish himself in the middle of the ring behind a constant throw of his piston left hand.
But as mentioned, it will be interesting to see, if and when Fielding lands his first significant punch, whether his opponent has the chin to withstand the shot, despite being the man heading into the bout with a KO loss on his record, Rocky has certainly come up against a consistently higher quality, and bigger punching calibre of opponent.
Whoever emerges victorious, the super middleweight division is packed with interesting matchups, from the WBSS finalists, Groves & Smith, to fellow belt holders Ramirez, Benavidez and recently crowned Uzcategui, and the broader string of challengers in the two Calebs, Truax and Plant or Eubank Jr. The list goes on for the 168lbers.