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Nathan Cleverly: I broke Braehmer

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By Scott Gilfoid: Nathan Cleverly (30-3, 16 KOs) lucked out tonight in beating WBA World light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer (48-3, 25 KOs) by a 7th round injury stoppage at the Jahnsportforum in Neubrandenburg, Germany. Cleverly’s victory was due to Braehmer experiencing a dislocated right elbow. Without the injury, Cleverly probably would have lost, because he was struggling in the fight. I had Braehmer ahead five rounds to one after six rounds. I gave Cleverly the 1st round, but that’s it. He lost all the other rounds.

After the fight, Cleverly was yapping about how he broke Braehmer with his high work rate and punches. It sounded a lot like what IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin was saying after he beat Kell Brook by a 5th round stoppage win on September 10 last month. The difference here is that Golovkin’s powerful punches did a number on Brook’s right eye, causing him to suffer a broken right eye socket that eventually caused the fight to be halted.

In the case of Cleverly, he only won because of Braehmer suffering an elbow injury that he likely suffered from him either hitting Cleverly or banking his elbow on his hard head at some point. I’m just saying. Cleverly can’t take credit for that.

“Ultimately, I broke Braehmer up in the first six rounds. It was only going one way but if he wants a rematch, we’ll do it,” said Cleverly to

Oh come on, Cleverly didn’t break Braehmer. If anyone was getting broken in the fight, it was Cleverly who was getting worked over by Braehmer though six rounds. I mean, I had Brahmer well out in front at the time of the stoppage after the 6th. Nathan basically backed his way into winning a world title tonight. It was awful to watch. That’s not how you’re supposed to win a world title. The way to win a world title is by going out and dominating your opponent to prove you’re the better fighter. That’s not what happened in tonight’s fight. Braehmer was the better fighter through six rounds, but then the injury to his elbow caused the fight to win. As such, we’re going to get a do over as soon as Braehmer’s injured elbow heals up. But for Cleverly to be blabbering about how he broke Braehmer with his high work rate, that’s complete nonsense.

Braehmer fought in a magnificent manner, and was well on his way to beating the brakes off Cleverly until the injury occurred. I have no idea when Braehmer suffered the injury> All I know is he was giving Cleverly a boxing lesson for six rounds.

In figuring out what would have happened had the fight gone the full 12 rounds, all I can do is extrapolate from what took place I the first six rounds. If Braehmer was schooling Cleverly through six rounds, then it obviously means he would have schooled him through 12. That’s kind of how I figure out who was going to win the fight.

“I’m just very grateful to be world champion for a second time. I won the world title when I was 24 and I was loving it, living the dream,” said Cleverly. “I lost my belt in my sixth defence and I needed this belt back in my life. I came back for it, I’ve worked hard, dedicated myself and now I’m two-time champion of the world. I’m so grateful.”

Cleverly didn’t even win the real WBA title. He won the junior WBA strap. To become the REAL WBA champion, Cleverly still needs to beat Sergey Kovalev, the WBA Super champion, in my opinion. Beating Braehmer on an injury to pick up the minor WBA belt only means that Cleverly is the junior WBA belt holder.

I hate to say it, but I have a feeling that we’re going to see Cleverly and Braehmer go back and forth with each other in exchanging the WBA title for three to four fights like we saw with the Arthur Abraham vs. Robert Stieglitz four fights. Those two German based fighters fought each other over and over again in fights staged in Germany. In between fighting each other, Abraham and Stieglitz would fight mediocre fighters. They were able to go back and forth like this for three years before Abraham got beaten by Gilberto Ramirez to lose his WBO super middleweight title. I’m betting that if Abraham didn’t lose his title, he’d STILL be fighting Stieglitz.

Now I think it’s Cleverly and Braehmer’s turn to fight each other four times. The rematch between them is a given. That’s definitely going to happen. What we don’t know yet is how many times Cleverly and Braehmer will wind up fighting each other. Will it be four times or only two times? I suspect that Cleverly will lose the rematch in 2017, forcing a third fight between them. Then if Cleverly wins that fight, then we’ll see a fourth fight in 2018. Instead of one of the talents in the light heavyweight division getting a crack at the WBA belt like Aur Beterbiev, we’ll likely see Cleverly and Braehmer fighting each other numerous times.

“I’m grateful to Braehmer for giving me the shot at the title,” said Cleverly. ”He’s been a great champion but he’s 37 years of age now and it’s time for a younger man to take the title now. It’s time for a new champion. If he wants the rematch we’ve got a clause if he really wants it.”

Nah, Braehmer didn’t lose the fight tonight because he was an old timer. He lost because of a dislocated elbow, or at least that’s what they’re saying right now. Braehmer’s dislocated elbow could have been caused by anything. That’s not a sign that he’s getting old. It’s just a sign that he probably banged it on the head of Cleverly while he was throwing a punch.

Cleverly is just so lucky to have won the fight tonight, because he was going to lose if not for the injury. It’s bad news when you get a fighter that wins on an injury. But it’s even worse when they start bleating about how they broke their opponent, as if the injury was caused by something they were doing. Let’s face it; it was a freak injury that could have been caused by anything.

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