Jurgen Braehmer V Nathan Cleverly: Results and Review
By Rob Maclean: In what was a highly competitive and entertaining light heavyweight match, it was Welshman Nathan Cleverly that re-announced himself on the world scene winning the WBA title. The match was stopped after a conversation between Braehmer and his corner, Braehmer was clearly in distress due to his right elbow. It was in the seventh round that Braehmer threw only straight left hands that indicated something was wrong.
It was an underwhelming result to a very watchable contest. I had mentioned in my preview that Cleverly needed to force the action and could potentially outwork Braehmer, and he put on a worthy display. I felt Cleverly had 3 or so rounds to his name at the time of the stoppage, but it’s hard to disagree that it was Cleverly growing into the fight at that stage.
The early rounds saw Cleverly give the champion no respect what so ever, Braehmer fought like a champion refusing to back up and the match became the inevitable ‘phone booth’ contest. Braehmer had the better work however and actually was out landing Cleverly. A few times he slipped the jab and unleashed his straight left straight down the middle, in fairness to Cleverly he never seemed fazed by the shots.
As the fight headed into the mid rounds it was pretty clear, the younger man had the advantage. Cleverly didn’t wilt and continued to throw in combination, throwing left hooks, right hooks and uppercuts. His jab barely touched Braehmer, but he didn’t need it, he wasn’t giving Braehmer a second to slip and counter as Cleverly just kept coming.
Braehmer didn’t fight to his advantages the longer the fight went on. I previously stated Braehmer was compact, experienced and difficult to bully. He proved all of them things however he wasn’t fighting his fight. Because Braehmer throws only straight shots he often smothered his own work. His clever head moment and counter style was void, Cleverly never gave him room nor time to land counters as the fight reached its end.
Many will be questioning if the fight was to keep going who would have won? Fact is the fight didn’t continue, Cleverly did enough to force an injury stoppage and that came as a result of his pressure. Braehmer needed to set traps, make Cleverly miss and make him pay because the few times he landed the counter straight left, it looked spiteful.
People will call for a rematch and dependent on the health of Braehmer we might see it, he has a rematch clause so now it’s down to him if he wants to fight. Huge respect for both men last night, particularly Cleverly, fans who thought he was done at world level were oh so wrong.