Rico Verhoeven will defend his title against a familiar foe on Feb. 6. | Photo: James Law/Glory
Rico Verhoeven will make his first defense of the Glory world heavyweight championship on Feb. 6, when he faces longtime rival Errol Zimmerman in the Glory 19 main event at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Va. Their fight headlines the Spike TV-televised main card, which will also feature a four-man welterweight tournament, with top-ranked contender Nieky Holzken as the likely centerpiece.
Verhoeven (44-9-10, 23 KOs) and Zimmerman are 1-1 against each other. Zimmerman (103-11-1, 44 KOs) won their January 2012 match by first-round knockout, with Verhoeven winning their rematch by one-sided unanimous decision in June.
“I’m just happy to fight,” Verhoeven told Sherdog.com. “I don’t care who it is against. Obviously we know each other and it’s the rubber match for us. That’s fine by me. I will fight anyone anywhere. I am just happy someone is turning up on Feb. 6 to get their ass kicked.”
Zimmerman and Verhoeven have had plenty to say about each other in the past two years. Verhoeven has criticized his 28-year-old counterpart’s work ethic, while Zimmerman has scorned the number of decision wins on the Dutchman’s record.
“I lost to Errol in that first fight because I made a mistake. I didn’t approach him the right way. It was my fault and I paid the price for it, but I learned the lesson; but if you listen to Errol, he’s still talking about that finish. He’s not moved on in the last three years,” Verhoeven said. “I have evolved a lot. Mentally and physically, I am miles away from where I was three years ago, but I don’t see any evolution with Errol. I see the same old Errol doing the same old things, and that isn’t going to work against me in February.
“I don’t know why he is still talking about that first fight,” he added. “Since then, I have become world champion but he’s stayed in pretty much the same place.”
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