Braehmer injured, Cleverly wins in Germany
Welshman Nathan Cleverly scored a seventh-round stoppage victory over Juergen Braehmer in Neubrandenburg, Germany, on Saturday, when the veteran southpaw was pulled out of the 12-round light heavyweight bout due to a what was reported as a dislocated right elbow.
Braehmer, who was rated No. 5 by THE RING at 175 pounds, coming into the contest, was uncharacteristically aggressive but that was largely due to Cleverly staying on top of him and forcing the pace. The premature ending spoiled a really good spectacle, although the winner saw things differently.
“There’s a rematch clause if he really wants it,” said a jubilant Cleverly (30-3, 16 KOs) when interviewed by Sky Sports in the U.K. “Ultimately I broke Braehmer up over the first six rounds and I was going to dominate the last six, but if he wants a rematch we’ll do it.”
Cleverly, a former WBO light heavyweight titleholder, stormed out of the blocks in the opening session and instantly backed up the 37-year-old lefty with the jab and body punching. It took Braehmer (48-3, 35 KOs) a little time to adjust to the high tempo but when he did, his punches were superior in terms of snap and accuracy.
The German was also cute on the inside and he picked off a lot of Cleverly’s punches by keeping his chin tucked into his right shoulder. The Welsh volume puncher did not stop applying pressure, though, and it is conceivable that the older man would have crumbled down the stretch.
With that said, this victory was not definitive and the pair, who have been circling each other for several years, will likely do it again. Nothing was confirmed but next time Braehmer, who is also a former WBO titleholder, may have to travel outside his home turf for a chance at revenge.
This was the German’s first defeat in seven years.
*Editor’s note: The victory saw Cleverly capture a version of the WBA light heavyweight title that is unrecognized by THE RING.
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