Chilemba aims to gazump Cleverly, claim Braehmer spot
Former WBC silver light heavyweight champion Isaac Chilemba has thrown his hat into the ring as a potential opponent for current WBA title holder Juergen Braehmer on March 12.
Braehmer is on the lookout for an opponent following the collapse of his defense against Thomas Oosthuizen and has already been singled out by ex-WBO belt holder Nathan Cleverly for the Germany contest.
As Cleverly is coming off a loss, WBA chairman Gilberto Mendoza told WBN the Welshman is unlikely to be sanctioned for Braehmer, although Chilemba is in a similar position having lost to Eleider Alvarez in November.
Chilemba hasn’t been put off by Mendoza’s statement though and hopes promoter Kathy Duva can work some magic and place him in the opposite corner to 37 year-old Braehmer in just over five weeks’ time.
“I know Main Events have put my name forward as an opponent for Braehmer, so I’m hoping this comes off as I feel I have the beating of him,” Chilemba told World Boxing News.
“I hope they don’t choose Cleverly or any other non-ranked opponent as they have done in the past. Yes, I also lost my last fight but decision was quite contentious. However, at least I’m still ranked number three with the WBC, whereas Cleverly is at eleven.
“I’m hoping for this opportunity as I believe that Braehmer has never defended it against a worthy opponent even though he has successfully defended his title many times.
“I believe I deserve the chance as I have never shied away from any fight that has been offered to me and it would be a great fight for both him and me to fight for the title.
“It’s less than six weeks away, but I am always in good shape and training whether I have a scheduled fight or not, so the timing is of no concern to me,” he added.
There are occasions in the past where a fighter who has lost his last bout was given the opportunity to fight for a WBA championship, with current super lightweight title holder Adrien Broner a prime example of that.
Broner had lost out to Shawn Porter via unanimous decision in June 2015 but approved to face Khabib Allakhverdiev for the vacant belt at 140 pounds by the WBA just four months later.