Nigeria’s Isaac Ekpo will aim to clinch the WBO super-middleweight title against Germany’s Robert Stieglitz this weekend.
Ekpo, 30, represented Nigeria at the 2004 Athens Olympics and has a professional record of 22-1, with 16 Knock-out wins inside the distance.
On paper, Ekpo does not look to trouble his German opponent, who is approaching his 50th professional bout and set to make a second defence of the title he regained in March.
He has not beaten any leading contender but is ranked seventh on the WBO’s list.
Stieglitz has a record of 44-3, with 25 short-cut wins. The second defence of his WBO belt came against Arthur Abraham, who he knocked out in the fourth round. He cruised to a one-sided stoppage victory over Yuzo Kiyoto in July.
Stieglitz’s excellent jab, good hand speed and classic stand-up style of boxing has seen him devour his challengers in recent times, but Ekpo could spring up surprises by stretching his opponent’s endurance in the fight many observers have tagged a mismatch.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian, who says he admires Floyd Mayweather, has vowed to surprise Stieglitz, proclaiming a declaration of war that he is “a ticking time bomb” and, even predicting a 7 Round Knock-Out.
“First of all, we (referring to himself and his trainers) owe him great respect. He is a great champion, great fighter. Also that he is fighting me with my record (22-1, 16 KOs) and so many KOs shows that he is a great champion. Not everyone would have done that,” he told Fight Reporters in Germany.
“But on Saturday I will leave the respect in the corner. I’m known as ‘The Grenade” so for Robert I’m a ticking time bomb that begins with the first bell. I will defeat him. My KO prediction is for the 7th Round, he will then know my fist’s without respect.”
The world title bout, billed for Leipzig, Germany, on Saturday night, is the Nigerian’s first time in Europe.