Germany has proved far from a happy hunting ground to British boxers in decades gone by. But Wales’ Nathan Cleverly will look to put that curse to rest as he challenges WBA ‘World’ Light Heavyweight ruler Juergen Braehmer this Saturday night.
Saturday October 1st, 2016.
Live coverage will commence at 8pm UK / Irish time (BST)
The fight will take place at the Jahnsportforum Arena in Neubrandenburg, Germany.
Live Stream and TV Info
The fight will be shown live on Sky Sports 2 and for those online who are Sky customers you can avail of ‘Sky Go’ (UK)
Cleverly 29-3(15KO’s) enters this world title bout off the back of defeat, losing on away territory against Chicago-based Pole, Andrzej Fonfara (L UD 12).
The gruelling contest has subsequently opened a huge door for the former WBO champion, and one he looks to push wide open against the weakest of the 3 world champions at the weight.
Calling Braehmer 48-2(35KO’s) a world champion should be taken with a pinch of salt. He is not the WBA’s legitimate world title holder, that is the unbeaten Sergey Kovalev – holder of the WBA ‘Super’ title.
The WBA are looking to close a chapter on this horrendous scheme, which all started when they decided to upgrade their current champions to ‘Super’ champions once they had made three successful defences.
But since Beibut Shumenov was upgraded in 2013, their title has bounced from Bernard Hopkins to Kovalev, all while Braehmer took captive the organisations other world title.
Now that I have confused myself further, I will take us back to the important issue at hand, and that is that Cleverly vs Braehmer is a contest that should have happened years prior to this one, but it is still a contest that holds great significance in the Light Heavyweight division.
For the winner they will have the chance to face the inaugural number 1 at the division in Sergey Kovalev or Andre Ward, something that would be more of a punishment for Cleverly if Kovalev is to come out on top in that November superfight.
Kovalev exposed the limitations in Cleverly’s game when he halted the Welshman inside 4 rounds back in 2013. Since that night Cleverly has fought just 5 times in 3 years, including two points defeats against the aforementioned Fonfara and Tony Bellew (L SD 12) in a 2014 grudge match at Cruiserweight.
The move up in weight was a particularly fruitful one for Bellew – whom Cleverly also holds a majority decision win against – but more of an imprudent one for Nathan.
Cleverly comes in 8 years the junior of Braehmer. At 37-years old one has to wonder what is left in the legs of Braehmer as he encounters fight number 51.
Braehmer seems to have been around forever, so it comes as no shock that his first shot at world glory was in 2008. That night he was outpointed over 12 by Hugo Hernan Garay. He went on to win and make a single defence of the WBO title before inactivity and a postponed fight with Cleverly saw him lose his title, the title that Cleverly shortly after went on to win.
After working his way back up through the European scene, a vacant WBA title shot arose following Shumenov’s status being lifted to that of ‘Super’ champion.
Marcus Oliviera (UD 12) was beaten that night, and the German has since made 6 successful defences, unsurprisingly all in Germany.
In fact, on just one solitary occasion has Braehmer fought outside of the comforts of his home country, that being in Hungary back in 2009.
Cleverly’s task is not otherworldly, but Braehmer has not lost in 17 fights, and his only other defeat came on a majority decision to Mario Veit – prior to losing to Garay.
But Braehmer’s style is nothing inspiring, it is just effective, and Cleverly needs to counteract that effectiveness above anything else in this fight.
There will be a brave effort from Nathan, but past defeats and even past victories have highlighted that even with those lightning fast hands and tremendous physique, Cleverly can look rather ordinary himself.
If Braehmer still has something left at this level, then he should edge enough tight rounds to wind up with a unanimous decision win.
(Photo credit: Public Address)
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