Light heavyweight titleholder Juergen Braehmer has a new opponent for his next defense, and it is a familiar one.
Braehmer will make the sixth defense of his secondary 175-pound world title when he faces replacement opponent Eduard Gutknecht in a rematch on March 12 at the Jahnsportforum in Neubrandenburg, Germany, promoter Team Sauerland announced on Monday.
"Fans love a domestic dust-up, and there is already a lot of history between these two men, which will add to the drama," promoter Kalle Sauerland said.
Braehmer (47-2, 35 KOs), a 37-year-old southpaw from Germany, was scheduled to face South African contender Thomas Oosthuizen (25-0-2, 14 KOs), but he was forced to withdraw last week. Oosthuizen's promoter, Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves, said Oosthuizen withdrew because he has a substance abuse problem and was in no condition to train or fight.
That opened the opportunity for Gutknecht (29-3-1, 12 KOs), 33, a native of Kazakhstan living in Germany. In February 2013, Gutknecht lost his European light heavyweight title to Braehmer in Berlin by unanimous decision.
"We had the option to take an immediate rematch with Gutknecht after our first fight or to face Marcus Oliveira for the world title," Braehmer said.
"Obviously, the world title challenge took absolute priority, but now I'm [a] world champion, I'm willing to give Gutknecht a shot. He is a strong opponent, and I'm sure, together, we will deliver the fans a fight worthy of its world championship status."
Braehmer outpointed Oliveira for a vacant belt in December 2013 and will be returning to the same arena where he defeated him.
Gutknecht, who lost a decision to Robert Stieglitz in a super middleweight world title bout in 2010, has won four fights in a row and is 5-1-1 since the loss to Braehmer.
"Three years after our first fight, I'm delighted to finally get a rematch," he said. "I was disappointed by result, but this time I will leave the decision in no doubt. I know exactly what I must do, and I'm ready to take the title and avenge my defeat."