Nathan Cleverly: I’m just hitting my peak!
By Scott Gilfoid: Nathan Cleverly (29-3, 15 KOs) will be challenging WBA 175lb champion Juergen Braehmer (48-2, 35 KOs) this Saturday night in a long awaited fight five years in the making in Germany. The fight is happening at the wrong time of their careers, as both fighters appear to be nearing the end. However, Cleverly believes that he’s just now hitting the peak of his career at 29.
The fact that Cleverly’s record is a pitiful 3-3 in his last six fights suggests otherwise. Fighters that are losing 50 percent of the time ARE NOT hitting their peak. They’re heading downhill, which is what I believe the case is with Cleverly. The thing is, we couldn’t really see how good or not so good Nathan was during the first eight years of his career, because he wasn’t being matching against quality fighters.
Photo Credit: Uwe Koch
If you look at the guys that Cleverly was being put in with, he was largely being matched mediocre guys. Granted, Cleverly did well against the B and C-level fighters that he was being put in with, but that wasn’t saying much because he wasn’t being put in with the best. When Cleverly finally did start getting matched tougher in 2013, he was slaughtered by Sergey Kovalev, and beaten by Tony Bellew and Andrzej Fonfara.
Whether that’s a sign that Cleverly is going downhill or not is the big question. To me, I think it’s pretty clear that Cleverly is fading as a fighter at 29, but you can argue that he’s just as good as he ever was. He’s just never was as good as some boxing fans thought he was due to soft match-making.
Cleverly said this about the Braehmer fight:
“It’s going to be a difficult fight for me, but it has come at the wrong time for him. He’s 37-years-old, and reaching the end of his career, and I’m 29 and just hitting my peak. Juergen is a great fighter, but he’s not ready for what I’m bringing. I want this too much and I will be bringing the belt home with me.”
Oh boy, if this is what Cleverly considers hitting his peak at 3-3 in his last six fights, then that’s a pretty sad peak. I think Cleverly is seeing things from an upside down perspective. He not realize that hitting his mediocrity peak doesn’t mean that he’s hitting his peak. I’m just saying.
I think Cleverly is kidding himself if he thinks he’s hitting his peak. He already had his peak, and that was five years ago. I think it’s all downhill from here for Cleverly.
Braehmer should beat Cleverly with no problems on Saturday night. I think the German fighter has enough in the tank to get the job done against Cleverly, but it doesn’t mean that he’s going to beat any of the top fighters at 175. I don’t think Braehmer can beat quality fighters. I just think he can beat guys like Cleverly and lesser guys. Once Braehmer has to fight someone like Artur Beterbiev or Andre Ward, I see him getting soundly beaten and losing his WBA title.