GLORY 19 will take place on Friday, February 6 in Virginia, USA, the organization confirmed on Tuesday.
Rico Verhoeven’s long-rumored title defense against Errol ‘The Bonecrusher’ Zimmerman is in the headline slot as expected.
A four-man Welterweight Contender Tournament is also confirmed for the card. No names have been announced for that but Bloody Elbow understands that Nieky Holzken will be one of the quartet taking part.
Verhoeven (44-9-10, 23 KO’s) won the vacant title when he beat Daniel Ghita at GLORY 17 in June this year. That was his second consecutive win over Ghita, the previous match having taken place in the final of the GLORY 11 CHICAGO Heavyweight Championship Tournament.
Giant karate stylist Semmy Schilt previously held the belt, having won it at GLORY 1 STOCKHOLM in May 2012 but then been forced to vacate it when ill-health led to his suspending competition activities indefinitely.
Zimmerman – who has an unbelievable 103-11-1 record with 44 of those wins by KO – first met Verhoeven in January 2012. They fought on one of the last cards staged by the It’s Showtime organization and Zimmerman scored a first-round knockout win.
They met again in June 2013 and this time it was Verhoeven who emerged with the win, having outworked and outscored Zimmerman over the three rounds. That left them 1-1 against each other; a rubber match was inevitable.
Since then Verhoeven has won the title and Zimmerman has crunched his way through a Heavyweight Contender Tournament, scoring back-to-back KO’s to book his spot in the February 6 title fight at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia, USA.
The two have developed a strong rivalry via various comments made about each other in the typically blunt and forthright Dutch fashion. Verhoeven has talked about Zimmerman’s gas tank and training discipline which Zimmerman has claimed Verhoeven is “not a real fighter” because of his tendency to outpoint rather than KO opponents.
Certainly they represent a classic piece of matchmaking, a technician versus a one-shot knockout machine. Verhoeven’s fitness and endurance are through the roof whereas Zimmerman’s unreal raw power has meant that over the years he has often felt comfortable in eschewing the rigors of the training room for the delights of the discotheque.
Tickets for the event go on sale Christmas Eve, Wednesday December 24, via Ticketmaster.com and the show will air on Spike TV in the US, BT Sport in the UK and The Fight Network in Canada.
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