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Braehmer vs. Meroro this Saturday

Image: Braehmer vs. Meroro this SaturdayBy Jason Kim: Former WBO light heavyweight champion Jurgen Braehmer (37-2, 30 KO’s) faces Vikapita Meroro (21-3, 9 KO’s) on Saturday night at the Sport and Congress Center, Schewerein, Mecklenburg, Vorpommem, Germany.

Braehmer last fought in January, defeating Jose Maria Guerrero by a 4th round TKO. This was the 33-year-old Braehmer’s first fight since having his WBO light heavyweight title stripped by the World Boxing Organization for failing to defend it against his mandatory challenger Nathan Cleverly.

Braehmer would likely still be the WBO belt holder but he never seemed to be in any urgency to defend his title once he captured it in November 2009. Braehmer only defended it once per year for some reason. In hindsight, he wasted at least two title defenses per year by failing to stay active with his title.

Braehmer, #15 WBC, has to basically fight his way back into contention slowly but surely, because the sanctioning bodies have taken away his previously high ranking due to Braehmer not fighting enough.

Meroro, from Nambia, has lost two out of his last three fights. He’s a better fighter than those losses would have you believe but he’s clearly got the flaws in the power department and speed. He’s going to have problems trying to beat Braehmer without the offensive tools to compete with him.

Braehmer has got a lot of skills and with his southpaw stance and counter punching ability, he’s very hard to beat when he’s staying active. In 2009, he defeated the hard hitting Russian Dmitry Sukhotsky by a 12 round unanimous decision in a tough fight. Sukhotsky is the guy that the current WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly appears to be avoiding for some reason. Sukhotsky is the mandatory for Cleverly, but he’s been twice bypassed in order for Cleverly to face lesser foes.

Braehmer should have no problems beating Meroro on Saturday. Meroro will likely be looking to take the fight to Braehmer to pressure him and try to wear him down. But that fight strategy will play right into Braehmer’s hands, as he does incredibly well against fighters that come at him. This allows Braehmer to land his counter punches and it’s actually less work for him. Braehmer is much less effective when he’s the one having to come forward to press the attack against a defensively minded opponent. Those kinds of fights are very tough for Braehmer because he seems have to have matched early on against a lot of sluggers that got him used to fighting in a fast paced bout. He doesn’t seem to show all his tools in slow fights where he has to initiate everything.

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