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Nathan Cleverly vs. Juergen Braehmer in the works for September

Jurgen Brahmer Nathan Cleverly

By Eric Baldwin: Former WBO 175lb champion Nathan Cleverly (29-3, 15 KOs) could be challenging for a world title in September against WBA World light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer (48-2, 35 KOs), according to Dan Rafael. Cleverly, 29, had been the leading option for former WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward’s next fight on July 30 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. There has been too much waiting on the negotiations and Cleverly appears to be moving on inside.


Cleverly, #10 WBC, isn’t the ideal opponent that you want to see fighting for a world title, because he’s lost two out of his last three fight in the last two years. It’s gets worse than that. Cleverly has lost three out of his last six fights.

He’s not exactly world title challenger material compared to some of the other available contenders that Braehmer could be facing Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol or Andrzej Fonfara, fighter that Cleverly just lost to October 2015. However, when you look at the type of fighters that Braehmer has exclusively been facing since he picked up the WBA title in December 2013, Cleverly is the typical opponent.

Braehmer has fought many beatable fighters since he picked up the WBA title, and he’s not faced any of the dangerous ones like Beterbiev, Bivol, Fonfara, Eleider Alvarez, Vyacheslav Shabransky, Thomas Williams Jr., Marcus Browne, Yunieski Gonzalez or Dominic Boessel.

Hearn said to ESPN.com that they have been “waiting and waiting on Ward.”

As for the Cleverly-Braehmer negotiations, they’re “not done yet but likely.”

With Cleverly now out of the picture for Ward, his promoters at Roc Nation Sports are going to need to find someone else for his July 30 tune-up fight. Ward will be challenging IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev for his titles in November, and he needs a good fighter that can help him get ready for that fight.

It would be in Ward’s best interest to face a contender with punching power and an aggressive fighting style that can mimic what he’ll be dealing with when he gets inside the ring with Kovalev. It doesn’t help Ward if he fights a guy with a fighting style that is completely difference than the one he’ll be facing when he gets inside the ring with Kovalev.

Ward needs someone that has power and that can put pressure on him for 12 rounds. To get a fighter like that, Roc Nation Sports will likely need to make a big money offer to one of the top contenders. They’re probably not going to be too excited about fighting an unbeaten defensive fighter like Ward because it’s a fight where they would have a hard time getting a victory.

Cleverly’s career has been going downhill since he suffered a 4th round knockout loss to Kovalev three years ago in August 2013. Cleverly was confident going into that fight, but things didn’t work out well for him as soon as Kovalev started dropping bombs on him. After that defeat, Cleverly had a poorly thought out plan of him moving up to cruiserweight.

It was not a good idea. Cleverly won two fights over weak opposition, and then lost a 12 round decision to Tony Bellew in November of 2014. Cleverly looked gun-shy in that fight. Last October, Cleverly lost to Fonfara by a 12 round decision in a competitive fight. It was a victory in some ways for Cleverly because he at least didn’t get knocked out.

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