Braehmer defeats Krasniqi, forces corner retirement
In a battle of gutsy and game German-based light heavyweights, Juergen Braehmer defeated Robin Krasniqi, forcing a ninth round corner retirement before a noisy and enthusiastic home crowd on Saturday night in Rostock, Germany.
In the ninth, Braehmer (46-2, 34 knockouts) unloaded a sharp, three-punch combination which sent Krasniqi tumbling into the ropes. Referee Tony Weeks correctly administered a count and although he bravely survived the session, Krasniqi had sustained a horrible cut to the inside of his mouth.
The bout was calmly halted due to the extent of the damage but some of the preceding action had been dramatic.
Following a quiet opening session, Krasniqi picked two superb shots in an action-packed second. A lead right hand set up a busting left hook to the jaw and another isolated right snapped Braehmer’s head back violently. Not to be outdone, the 36-year-old fired back with gusto and a jolting left almost sent Krasniqi to the canvas in a wildly entertaining round.
The pattern was established.
Krasniqi (43-4, 16 KOs) found several highlight reel punches which merited little to no reaction and Braehmer responded with fury to rock the younger man to his boots. As the rounds wore on, the damage mounted and the clock was ticking on what would be the first stoppage loss of Krasniqi’s career.
Reticent to throw from the outside for fear of being countered, he did bring a decent inside game to the table in round seven and achieved a modicum of success. The 27-year-old was no longer open for straight shots down the pipe and his offensive versatility troubled Braehmer, who prefers time and distance.
It was a spirited effort but another left hand rocked Krasniqi’s world in the eighth and, again, the writing was on the wall.
Braehmer is a classic example of German efficiency. The super experienced lefty is rated No. 4 by THE RING at 175 pounds and his longevity and continued success around world level commands respect. Still, one always senses he is fighting within himself and breakthrough bouts continue to elude the popular German.
Krasniqi was leagues ahead of previous Braehmer victim, Pawel Glazewski, who was taken out inside 60 seconds, but the light heavyweight division is loaded with attractive and lucrative European options. Artur Beterbiev is due to challenge Gabriel Campillo on April 4, and then there’s Frenchman Nadjib Mohammedi or – dare we say it? – Sergey Kovalev.
It’s also perhaps time for Braehmer to break out his passport and seek an away mission. In 48 contests, over 15 years, he has only been out of Germany once and even that was a hop, skip and a jump over to Hungary.
Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Gray_Boxing