Cleverly aims to dethrone champion Braehmer, Davies and Price feature in Germany
Lee Gormley | September 30, 2016
Nathan Cleverly v Juergen Braehmer
- WBA light-heavyweight title fight
- Saturday, October 1st
- Scheduled for: 10:30 BST
- Jahnsportforum, Germany
- Live on Sky Sports 2
Cleverly v Braehmer tips
Nathan Cleverly will end his five-year pursuit of Juergen Braehmer this Saturday night, as the Welshman travels to Germany to challenge for the latter’s WBA light-heavyweight title at the Jahnsportforum.
Caerphilly-born Cleverly (29-3, 15 KOs) was previously scheduled to take on reigning champion Braehmer (48-2, 35 KOs) back in 2011, but the German was forced to withdraw with a supposed eye injury, before stand-in opponent Tony Bellew then missed weight and he was ultimately awarded the vacant WBO strap.
The travelling challenger will aim to become a two-time world champion, having held the WBO crown from May 2011 until August 2013, when he succumbed to the devastating power of current unified champion Sergey Kovalev.
Cleverly has endured plenty of ups and downs in his career to date, but he is 13/8 with Coral to overcome Braehmer this weekend on German soil and secure what would be the best moment to date for the 29-year-old.
Cleverly confident of gaining German success
The Welshman became world champion in 2011 when both Braehmer and Bellew were unable to take to the ring, as he was awarded the WBA strap and successfully defended it against instant Polish opponent Aleksy Kuziemski at the O2 Arena in London.
Cleverly then went on to retain his former belt a further four times, including against Merseysider Bellew, before his stoppage defeat to dominant Russian Kovalev at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.
The former champion has endured an indifferent period since that loss, winning three of his previous five fights, including losing a rematch with Bellew and being outpointed by Andrzej Fonfara, but he is confident of a successful trip to Germany next.
“Five years in the making, this fight. I’m so glad we’re finally here now. It’s been a difficult fight to make,” said Cleverly.
“I’m looking to take it with both hands…”
“Getting Braehmer into a boxing ring with me has been difficult but here we are and I’m looking to take it with both hands.
“I feel more mature now. I’m 29 and more mature mentally and physically. I feel in a better place and I’m ready for chapter two in my career.
“It’s too big an opportunity, this. There were a few options on the table but this is the one I want. The world title on the line, Braehmer with history, five years in the making. I just felt this fight needed to happen.
“I feel ready for it. I’m hungry and let’s bring that belt back and become a two-time world champion.”
Champion Braehmer holds home advantage
German southpaw Braehmer will enter as the odds-on 1/2 favourite to defend his crown in front of a partisan home crowd, but now at 37 years of age, Cleverly will be aiming to jump on the defending champion early.
The home fighter has only fought outside of native Germany once in his entire career, when beating Aleksy Kuziemski in Hungary seven years ago, and he will be confident of earning victory in his latest ring outing.
Braehmer won his present strap in 2013 when claiming the then vacant WBA title by outscoring Marcus Oliveira and has since defended it on six occasions.
It’s widely believed to be an uphill task to gain the judges’ favour in Germany, with the likes of Paul Smith, Martin Murray and Matthew Macklin perhaps being unfortunate to not taste success on the their travels there.
Although, former world heavyweight champion David Haye and most-recently Tyson Fury have proved it can be done, and Cleverly will hope to be the latest visiting Brit to succeed on what could be the defining night of his career on German territory.
Davies and Price feature on undercard
On the undercard at the Jahnsportforum in Germany, both highly-rated British prospect Ohara Davies (12-0, 10 KOs) and heavyweight contender David Price (20-3, 17 KOs) are set to feature.
The latter Merseysider will take on Croatian journeyman Ivica Perkovic (22-30, 17 KOs) in his latest outing, as he looks to keep active ahead of a potential match-up with New Zealand’s Joseph Parker (20-0, 17 KOs), who is also in action this weekend in his homeland.
Parker is also the mandatory to IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s title, but he is 1/16 favourite to overcome Ukrainian-born German Alexander Dimitrenko, though the latter is 7/1 to cause a huge upset in Auckland.
Highly-rated Londoner Davies is also set to feature on German turf, as the 24-year-old aims to continue his rise through the super-lightweight division after recent wins on home soil.
The Hackney-born fighter will challenge Frenchman Chaquib Fadli (13-7, 7 KOs) upon his arrival in Germany, for what will actually be his second outing in the country, having beaten Jacek Wylezol there last year.