WBA orders Sergey Kovalev vs. Juergen Braehmer
By Jeff Aranow: After three years of soft title defenses one after another, WBA World light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer (48-2, 35 KOs) appears to be at the end of the line with the news that the World Boxing Association has ordered him to begin negotiations with WBA “Super” light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs), according to Fight News. The WBA is looking to reduce the titles they have in each division.
The negotiations between Braehmer and Kovalev have 30 days to be completed before a purse bid.
This will be interesting to see what the 37-year-old Braehmer decides to do. He can vacate his WBA title to avoid taking a likely knockout loss to Kovalev, or he can simply get it out with and figure that this is the best that he can do right now. I think it would be better off for the soon to be 38-year-old Braehmer to take the fight with Kovalev, because it doesn’t get any easier for him to challenge WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson.
I don’t see that as a winnable fight for Braehmer. Of course, Braehmer could try and lose some weight and vacate his WBA 175lb title and move down to 168 to challenge one of the champions in that weight class. That would be a move of pure desperation on Braehmer’s part because he hasn’t fought at super middleweight in the last nine years since 2007. However, it might be Braehmer’s best chance of winning another world title.
If Braehmer isn’t too weight drained from melting down to 168, he could challenge the likes of James DeGale, Badou Jack, Giovanni De Carolis or Gilberto Ramirez. De Carolis would be right up Braehmer’s ally because he’s fought two German fighters in his last two fights against Tyron Zeuge and Vincent Feigenbutz.
Kovalev has a fight on November 19 against Andre Ward if he wins his scheduled fight against Alexander Brand on August 6. Kovalev wouldn’t be free to fight Braehmer until early 2017 if he gets past Ward. If Ward wins, then it would be him that would potentially face Braehmer if the German fighter doesn’t vacate to avoid the fight.
I see Braehmer avoiding the Kovalev or Ward fight like the plague. I can’t see him facing either of those guys because they’re simply too good.
Since winning the WBA “regular” 175lb title three years ago against Marcus Oliveira, Braehmer has beaten the following contenders: Enzo Maccarinelli, Roberto Bolonti, Pawel Glazewski, Robin Krasniqi, Konni Konrad and Eduard Gutknecht. The last guy, Gutknecht, isn’t even a light heavyweight. He’s a super middleweight.
Braehmer has really taken it easy as the WBA champion, and he’s had help with the WBA failing to rank the high caliber talents at the very top like Artur Beterbiev, Eleider Alvarez, Andre Ward, Andrzej Fonfara, Joe Smith Jr, Jean Pascal, and Vyacheslav Shabranskyy. If Braehmer had to fight those guys, he likely would have lost his WBA title a long, long time ago. The WBA’s rankings have been horrible. Even now, they have Felix Valera ranked No.1 above Andre Ward and Beterbiev. I think those guys would destroy Valera and Braehmer on the same night.