Q&A: Juergen Braehmer
This coming Saturday Juergen Braehmer will face Robin Krasniqi in Germany; Braehmer sees merit to his opponent but is confident of victory.
“He has that never-give-up mentality – that’s his biggest asset,” Braehmer told RingTV.com through Thomas Schlabe of Sauerland Event. “On the other hand, he is not the most skillful kind of fighter – he has a lot of deficits in that department, which I am going to exploit.”
Last year the 36-year-old boxer-puncher won all three of his bouts, beginning by forcing Enzo Maccarinelli to retire at the conclusion of the fifth round. A near punch-perfect performance followed as Braehmer outpointed Roberto Bolonti before dispatching Pawel Glazewski in the opening round with one expertly placed bodyshot.
(Note: Braehmer holds the WBA’s “World” title. THE RING recognizes Sergey Kovalev’s “Super World” belt as the true WBA 175-pound title.)
Anson Wainwright – What are your thoughts on your fight with Krasniqi?
Juergen Braehmer – Krasniqi is an ambitious kind of fighter. He wants to take the title from me, no matter what. That’s what I read in his eyes when we met for the kick-off press conference in late January. But to be driven to beat somebody and actually doing it are two different things.
AW – It’s an all-German based encounter; does that add extra spice to the Krasniqi bout?
JB – Of course it does and you have to make such fights to keep people interested in boxing. You have two groups of fans: one is cheering for me and the other one for him. You can make fights against other world-ranked fighters but you will always create the most interest if you either have two guys from the same country facing each other or two worldwide known characters. That’s why this bout was made.
AW – Nearly two years ago Krasniqi lost a wide points decision to Nathan Cleverly. Having seen that fight and been at world level for many years do you feel he is a threat?
JB – When he fought Cleverly back in 2013, Krasniqi was surprised by the quality and maybe did a step-up too far at that moment. He still made it to the final bell. I believe he has learned his lesson and progressed and gained vital experience. He should be better all around when we lace up the gloves on March 21. But I still don’t see him on my level and will beat him decisively!
AW – Tell us about your training camp for this fight?
JB – I did not go to training camp this time but prepared in my backyard. After all, I also prepared for my last fight back home, as we have a well-equipped training facility with the Olympic center in Schwerin, where my former coach Michael Timm works with the German national boxing squad. Me and my coach, Karsten Roewer, put focus on my boxing abilities, combination-punching. Why abandon things that worked well last time around?
AW – Just before Christmas you knocked out Pawel Glazewski with a vicious bodyshot. Tell us about that fight and the knockout blow?
JB – You could basically see in that fight what we emphasized in training. And it was not just the final blow that sends my opponent down. I saw an opening and countered Glazewski over his right hand to the head. I followed up with a few lighter punches to the head to create space downstairs – and that’s it.
AW – How would you assess last year?
JB – It was quite a good year form me – privately with the birth of my second child as well as inside the ring. I hope for more of the same in 2015. Most importantly is the health of my family, everything else comes second.
AW – You turned 36 last October; how much longer do you feel able to fight at the highest level?
JB – As long as possible. Seriously, as soon as I notice that I cannot compete at the highest level, I will hang up the gloves. I have the ambition to always finish first, not second. So why bother with boxing if you are not able to finish first anymore? There are more important things in life than to get hurt.
AW – Your team also consists of some up and coming boxers such as Enrico Koelling and Tyron Zeuge. It must help having hungry young fighters in the gym to mentor and also motivate you?
JB – Of course it helps me to stay hungry. These boys do not just try to support and keep up with me but do really challenge me in training. Together with my coach they create a positive atmosphere in the gym but they also want to prove their skills against me – so I have to put them in their place from time to time (laughs). We also cheer each other from ringside when one of us fights. Boxing is normally an individual sport but we are a team.
AW – What goals do you still have in boxing?
JB – There are a lot of possible fights which could be made down the road. But this is not just about me. You have always another party, another fighter involved to agree to all terms. So it’s hard to tell at this time. All I can say is that I always try to take the best fight (boxing-wise and financially) that is presented to me.
AW – Who are your boxing heroes and why?
JB – Back in the day, when I became a youth world champion in Havana (1996), I enjoyed watching Roy Jones Jr. He made the most of his abilities, always being superior in terms of speed, footwork and reaction. He may not have been my idol but he impressed me very much.
AW – In closing do you have a message for Krasniqi?
JB – See you at the fight!
The Krasniqi fight, which takes place in Braehmer’s home region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, will be shown in Germany on SAT1 (10:35 p.m CET) and in the U.K. on Sky Sports (10.00 p.m GMT). Also scheduled to appear is heavy-handed young super middleweight Vincent Feigenbutz, up-and-coming junior welterweight Anthony Yigit. Once-promising heavyweight Denis Boytsov looks to continue his comeback against Irineu Beato Costa Junior, while middleweight prospect Stefan Haertel looks to continue his progress.
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright