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Nathan Cleverly vs. Juergen Braehmer results

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By Jim Dower: Former WBO 175lb champion Nathan Cleverly (30-3, 16 KOs) had too much youth and too much energy for WBA World light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer (48-3, 35 KOs) on Saturday night in defeating him by a 7th round TKO to capture the World Boxing Association ‘regular’ 175lb title at the Jahnsportforum in Neubrandenburg, Germany.

The fight was halted after the 7th round when the 37-year-old Braehmer revealed that he couldn’t continue due to suffering a right elbow injury. Braehmer reportedly suffered a dislocated right elbow. There was initially confusion when Braehmer walked out to the center ring after the 6th round had ended. Cleverly then started jumping up and down and raising his hands in victory. It was then clearly that Braehmer had suffered some kind of injury and didn’t wish to carry on. This win for Cleverly is huge news for the sport, as it unseats a longstanding champion in Braehmer. Cleverly came into the fight as the underdog with the boxing odds-makers, but he showed that he was able to get the better of Braehmer by throwing a massive amount of punches.

The first hint of trouble for Braehmer came in the final seconds of the 4th round, when he stopped punching all of a sudden and took three straight rights to the head from Cleverly. Braehmer came out strong in the 5th, but he was continuing to take a lot of shots from Cleverly. Braehmer was punished in that round by nonstop punches from Cleverly.

In a last stand, Braehmer threw a lot of nice shots in the 6th round and appeared to do enough to win that round. You can argue that the only reason Braehmer did well in the 6th is because Cleverly slowed the pace of the fight in that round and didn’t throw as many shots as he had in the previous rounds. What Cleverly did instead was put more power on the punches that he did land, and he seemed to get Braehmer’s attention with those bigger punches.

Cleverly, 29, had the perfect game plan to defeat Braehmer tonight by throwing nonstop punches in the first six rounds. While the shots that Cleverly were throwing weren’t with a lot of power, he was still forcing the aging soon to be 38-year=old Braehmer to work hard in every round. Braehmer couldn’t rest and fight at a slow pace like he was accustomed to. Surprisingly, Braehmer held tough by landing the harder shots in the first four rounds of the fight. But by the 5th, the fight clearly had changed with Cleverly starting to get to Braehmer with his high work rate.

We’ll never know who would have won the fight if it had gone the full 12 round distance, but you have to figure that the pace that Cleverly had set would have gotten to Braehmer sooner or later causing an injury of some kind like we saw tonight. Cleverly was on pace to throw 1200 punches in the fight, and that’s a massive amount of shots for a light heavyweight to throw. Many of the shots were missing, but tons of them were landing and Braehmer looked in distress by the 6th. Braehmer had never been hit like that before in such a short period of time.

Cleverly did a great job of using the blueprint created by Hugo Hernan Garay in how to beat Braehmer by throwing punch after punch all night long. Just like in that fight, Braehmer couldn’t handle the high work rate from Cleverly. Braehmer and his team can certainly blame the loss on his elbow injury, but the fast pace from Cleverly caused the elbow injury. Braehmer likely suffered the injury trying to block all the hard shots that Cleverly was throwing to the body. Braehmer was dropping his arms to try and block the painful body shots, and something had to give. Cleverly was able to get a lot of power on his shots to the body that he wasn’t getting when he was throwing to the head. It’s quite possible that Braehmer took one of Cleverly’s hard shots that was meant for the body on his right elbow, resulting in a dislocated elbow. Braehmer clearly wasn’t throwing like he had been after the 4th round. He stopped using his right arm for the most part, and was focusing on just landing lefts, which was his best hand due to him being a southpaw.

The Braehmer vs. Cleverly fight was supposed to have taken place five years ago in 2011, when Braehmer was the WBO light heavyweight champion and Cleverly was the mandatory challenger. Braehmer pulled out of the fight with an injury, resulting in Cleverly becoming the champion. The two stayed in separate lanes for the next five years until tonight. Braehmer captured the WBA light heavyweight title in 2013, and he had held it for three years and six successful title defenses until tonight.

With this win, Cleverly could wind up facing Braehmer in a rematch in 2017, once his injured elbow heals. That could be a while from now. Hopefully for Cleverly’s sake, he can fight a unification match against the winner of the November 19 fight between IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev and Andre Ward. Cleverly was stopped in the 4th round by Kovalev three years ago in 2013. However, there are still a lot of boxing fans that would like to see Cleverly and Kovalev fight is out ocne again if Kovalev gets past Ward. If Kovalev loses to Ward, then so much the better. It would set up a fight between Cleverly and Ward. Those two have never faced each other, and it would be a great chance for Cleverly to show what his high work rate, youth and natural light heavyweight size could do against the 31-year-old Ward. Since moving up to 175, Ward has shown no ability to throw a lot of punches. He’s more of a one punch at a time type of fighter, and he’s not particularly powerful. If Cleverly can hit with the same power as Ward and hit him many more times, he could beat him.

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