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Braehmer vs. Cleverly official weights

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By Scott Gilfoid: WBA “regular” light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer (48-2, 35 KOs) weighed in on Friday in coming in at a slim and unhealthy looking 173.1 pounds for his title defense against former WBO 175lb champion Nathan Cleverly (29-3, 15 KOs) on Saturday night at the Jahnsportforum, Neubrandenburg, Germany. Braehmer looked almost ill with dark circles under both of his eyes, and he looked older than his chronological age of 37.

Braehmer looked like someone in his 40s. It’s not just because of his thinning hair. Braehmer just looked like someone in his 40s. Braehmer is about to turn 38 on October 5. When you get up there in age, I think some people age rapidly with each year. Instead of it being one year, it’s more like five years for some people. Braehmer did not look like the fresh faced 36-year-old I saw last year at this time when he was fighting an over-matched fringe contender Konni Konrad.

The Braehmer-Cleverly card will be televised by Sky Sports. The promoter for the event is Sauerland.

Nathan weighed in slightly heavier than Braehmer at 174.6lbs. Cleverly looked thin as well, but he didn’t have the dark circles under his eyes that we saw with the 37-year-old Braehmer. What was more significant than the weight difference between the two fighters was the size difference. The 6’1 ½” Cleverly looked considerably taller than the 5’11 ½” Braehmer when the two fighters stood staring at each other. Cleverly’s arms looked longer as well.

Braehmer has beaten taller guys than himself in the past such as in his 5th round stoppage victory over the 6’4” Enzo Maccarinelli two years ago in 2014, but Enzo fought a stupid fight by staying on the outside, not throwing a lot of punches, and letting Braehmer well up his left eye with his jabs. I would like to think that Cleverly won’t be stupid enough to stay at the distance and just take shots all night long by Braehmer.

Cleverly said this after Friday’s weigh-in to about the Braehmer fight:

“We’ve got history. I believe it’s my destiny and tomorrow I’m going to rip that belt from Juergen. He’s a very good fighter – a good boxer and a big puncher, but he’s 37-years-old now. I’m 29 and with my relentless style, I’ll let my hands go and outmuscle and outwork him. It was an intense stare down and he’s up for it, but so am I. This is a proper world title fight. No reservations. There have been a few dodgy decisions for the traveling fighter in the past, but I’m not worried about that. I’m going to enjoy it. I think it’ll be fair on the scorecards if it goes to the scorecards. I think it’ll be a late stoppage or a points victory.”

This is a winnable fight for Cleverly, but he’s going to need to fight like he used to five years ago when he was throwing a lot of punches and overwhelming his opponents. Something happened to Cleverly after his 4th round knockout loss to Sergey Kovalev in 2013. After that defeat, Cleverly started using his boxing skills more, throwing fewer punches, and standing around and waiting too much. That style doesn’t work for him.

Clevely needs to use what got him to the world level by throwing a lot of punches rather than staying on the outside and throwing pot shots. You can argue that Cleverly’s last two defeats to Andrzej Fonfara and Tony Bellew were the direct result from him not letting his hands go with nonstop punches. Cleverly was too cautious in both of those fights, and that led to him losing. I think Cleverly did show some of his old style of fighting against Fonfara in throwing more punches, but he still wasn’t throwing them at the rate that he did in his fights against Tommy Karpency, Karo Murat and in his first fight against Bellew.

If Cleverly can fight like that on Saturday night, then the only way Braehmer can win is by knockout unless we a hometown decision. I don’t think that’s going to happen. Cleverly has a powerful promoter in Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sport. I don’t see a robbery. I do think that Cleverly could lose if he fights like he did against Bellew and Fonfara recently.

Cleverly did just enough to lose by a close decision. He could have won had he’d been less cautious, but I got the feeling that he doesn’t quite trust his chin yet. Getting knocked out by Sergey Kovalev must have been a horrible experience for Cleverly, because he just does not look like the same fighter that he was back then.

As I mentioned in previous articles, there’s a lot of question marks about Braehmer. He’s been matched against dreadful opposition for the last eight years since his loss to Hugo Hernan Garay in 2008. Now that Braehmer is finally facing a decent quality light heavyweight in Cleverly, it might be too much for him to handle. With the match-making that’s been done for Braehmer by his management since 2008, it’s like an old car that has been put in the slow lane for eight years. Now the old car [Braehmer] is being asked to get in the fast lane all of a sudden and driven at 80 mph for a distance. I’m not sure that Braehmer can go that fast at his age, especially given the eight years of soft match-making that he’s been feasting on.

The thing is, Braehmer isn’t even being asked to fight the truly best light heavyweights like Adonis Stevenson, Kovalev, Artur Beterbiev, Andre Ward and Joe Smith. For Braehmer to beat those guys, he’d have to get in the fast lane drive 100 mph. There’s no way an old timer like Braehmer is going to be able to do that in my view. He doesn’t have the youth, boxing skills, power or the talent to hang like that.

A fighter like Cleverly is bad news for Braehmer. Cleverly wins this fight unless he fights a dumb fight by staying on the outside and trying to box Braehmer. Judging from the things that Cleverly has been saying to the media about wanting to outwork Braehmer, I don’t think he’s going to try and box him. I think Cleverly is going to slug it out for the full 12 rounds, and force Braehmer to fight harder than his aging body has done for many years since his loss to Garay in 2008.

Official weights for Saturday’s card:

Enrico Koelling 174.6 vs Ryno Liebenberg 174.2

Artur Mann 201.7 vs Paul Drago 197.1

Vincent Feigenbutz 167.1 vs Guillermo Ruben Andino 169.8

Leon Bauer 166.4 vs Giorgi Khulelidze 166.2

David Price 278.9 vs Ivica Perkovic TBA

Ohara Davies 139.9 vs Chaquib Fadli TBA

Kai Robin Havnaa 196.2 vs Mirnes Denadic 194.7

Alexander Peil 194 vs Grigol Abuladze 202.2

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