Braehmer was ahead of Cleverly on scorecards
By Scott Gilfoid: WBA World light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer was ahead of Nathan Cleverly on the scorecards at the end of six rounds last Saturday night in their fight in Germany. The fight was stopped unfortunately after the 6th round due to the 37-year-old Braehmer suffering a dislocated right elbow.
At the time of the stoppage, Braehmer was ahead on the scorecards by the scores 58-56, 58-56 and 58-56. I had Braehmer ahead too on my scorecards, and I thought he would have easily won the fight if not for the injury.
Cleverly was throwing a lot of shots, but he lacked the pop in his punches needed to impress the judges. The only way that Cleverly would have been able to climb back into the fight were if Braehmer got tired, which I doubt would have happened judging in how strong the German fighter looked in the 6th round. Braehmer DID NOT look tired in the 6th. He looked cool, calm and collective.
The German boxing fans were unhappy with their fighter Braehmer losing, as some of them grumbled as the fight results were revealed after the match. It was bad news for them that Braehmer suffered the injury, because he looked so good. For a guy that is about to turn 38 in October, Braehmer looked like a spring chicken inside the ring. He looked even fresher than Cleverly did in the 6th. I didn’t see any real hint of injury from Braehmer, because he was giving it to Cleverly with both hands freely and getting the better of him. Heck, even Braehmer’s injured right hand looked stronger than any of the punches that Cleverly was landing. I’m just saying. Cleverly looked weak last Saturday night with the punches he was landing.
“Something like this is irritating when you know you’re ahead,” said Brähmer after the fight by Fight News. “I couldn’t throw the right hook anymore. I decided to stop before anything else happened. I’m 37; this isn’t the end for me.”
Braehmer would have needed his right hand for him to get through the rest of the fight, because Cleverly was crowding him the entire time and there was no way he was going to be able to move away from him on his 37-year-old legs. Braehmer was so good though that he might have been able to beat Cleverly by using just his left hand for his offense. However, Braehmer still would have needed to use his right arm to block all the mess of punches that Cleverly was throwing in the fight, because he wasn’t stopping for anything.
Unless Cleverly slowed down with his punch output, which I don’t think would have happened, Braehmer would have been in trouble if he couldn’t block the incoming with his right arm.
“Cleverly told me in the ring and it’s also contractually agreed,” said Braehmer
A rematch between Braehmer and Cleverly would be interesting if it can take place soon. They can’t space it out too long, because Braehmer is getting up there in age. They can fight in Germany again. I think that would be good. It’s unclear whether Cleverly is a draw with the UK boxing fans.
The fact that Cleverly twice fought Tony Bellew in Liverpool despite him being the B-side suggests to me that Cleverly might not be a huge draw in the UK. In that case, it might be in Cleverly’s best interest to have the rematch take place in Germany in front of a pro-Braehmer crowd. As long as the fight brings in a healthy gate, that’s all that matters. I think Cleverly would get treated fairly in the rematch. After all, the judges had good scores for last Saturday’s fight. They scored it closer than I did. I had Braehmer winning five rounds to one.
I don’t see Braehmer having a ton of options for fights after the Cleverly match-up. Yeah, Braehmer can fight guys like Robert Stieglitz in fights in Germany, but I don’t see Braehmer having the youth, talent, and punching power to beat the likes of Adonis Stevenson or Sergey Kovalev. If Braehmer can’t beat Cleverly in the rematch in 2017, then I think Braehmer’s days of being a world champion are over with. I think it would end badly for Braehmer if he fought Kovalev, Andre Ward or Stevenson.
Braehmer could always try to melt down to 168 to fight the likes of Badou Jack, Gilberto Ramirez or James DeGale. Those would be tough fights for Braehmer, and I’m not sure he could hang with those guys, especially with him having to drop weight to get down to 168. Unfortunately, that would be the only option for Braehmer if he can’t beat Cleverly.
If Braehmer can get three or four fights against Cleverly in the next year or so, the two of them could keep the WBA ‘regular’ title locked in between themselves. That would be interesting. If the World Boxing Association doesn’t step in to force Cleverly or Braehmer to fight the No.1 WBA challenger Dimitry Bivol at some point, I guess they could keep fighting each other over and over for the next couple of years. Who can forget how former WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham kept fighting Robert Stieglitz over and over again during a two year period in fights in Germany. Abraham and Stieglitz are both German based fighters. They went back and forth in fighting each other repeatedly for four fights in a short period of time.