Cleverly confident before long-awaited Braehmer bout
Welshman Nathan Cleverly believes it is his “destiny” to beat light heavyweight rival Juergen Braehmer on Saturday night at the Jahnsportforum in Neubrandenburg, Germany.
Cleverly was scheduled to meet Braehmer for the WBO 175-pound title way back in May 2011, but with only days to go before his first world title challenge, Braehmer withdrew and was stripped, leaving Cleverly to fight Aleksy Kuziemski for the vacant belt.
“I was in the car on my way to London when I got the call saying Braehmer hadn’t arrived and the fight was off,” recalls Cleverly in a press release issued by Matchroom Boxing. “It was a crazy situation and the scramble was on to find a replacement opponent in just two days.”
Cleverly would defeat Kuziemski and go on to defend the title on four occasions before losing to Russian powerhouse Sergey Kovalev in August 2013. But despite achieving his ultimate ambition, the 29-year-old admits that Braehmer’s withdrawal amounted to a bittersweet victory.
“It did take the shine off my world title win,” said Cleverly. “I wanted to rip that title off Braehmer. He was the champion and I wanted to win the belt from him. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way and although, ultimately, I achieved my dream, it was a bit unsatisfactory.”
Five years on, Cleverly will finally get his chance to defeat the German southpaw in his own backyard and he is supremely confident of victory.
“This fight has been five years in the making, and with everything that has happened, I just feel it’s my destiny now,” he said. “Braehmer has had a great career, and I respect him for that, but I was confident of beating him five years ago (and) I feel even more confident now. It’s my time.”
Braehmer is rated No. 5 by THE RING at 175 pounds and Cleverly is unranked.
- Editor’s note: Braehmer versus Cleverly will be contested for a version of the WBA light heavyweight title that is unrecognized by THE RING. Sergey Kovalev is the reigning WBA light heavyweight titleholder.
Tickets for the contest between Juergen Braehmer and Nathan Cleverly will be available online via www.tickethall.de and www.eventim.de or by calling +49 (0)1806-570044.
Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for RingTV.com and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing
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