German heavyweight contender Erkan Teper will look to stay undefeated this weekend in Hamburg, when he faces Romanian native Christian Hammer. This is not a fight that will get a lot of attention in North America, but Teper and Hammer are both world-class big men, and the No. 1 and 2 heavyweights living in Germany. Boxrec.com has Teper No. 6 in Europe and Hammer No. 13.
Teper arguably belongs in the heavyweight top 10, though neither The Ring or Transnational Boxing Board place him there. Boxrec does place him at nine.
At 6’5″ and over 250 pounds, Teper has good size, even by modern heavyweight standards. He put together a decent amateur resume before turning professional at 28, in 2010. So far in his career, he is 16-0 with 10 KOs.
Teper’s first notable win came in 2013, when he knocked out veteran journeyman Michael Sprott in Round 1. The best win of his career came in March 2015, when he handed future world-title challenger Johann Duhaupas his first loss via unanimous decision.
Teper’s career has been tinged by controversy. In July 2015, he captured the European Heavyweight Championship when he knocked out David Price in Round 2. However, he failed a post-fight drug test. Teper’s most recent win came last July, when he decisioned Derric Rossy, a very good journeyman fighter.
Hammer turned professional in 2011, at age 21. He injured his shoulder in his debut fight, causing him to lose by TKO. After going on a seven-fight win streak from May 2009 through June 2010, he got matched very tough and lost back-to-back fights to future title-challenger Mariusz Wach and experienced fringe contender Taras Bidenko.
After that crash-course at the School of Hardknocks, Hammer developed himself into a legitimate world-class fighter. He knocked out former British Champion Danny Willions in 2012 and defeated former title-challenger Kevin Johnson in 2013.
In February 2015, Hammer was knocked out by current champion Tyson Fury. Since that loss, he has won two more, over veterans Sprott and Sherman Williams.