The wait is almost over! Five years after their first scheduled contest Juergen Braehmer (48-2, 35 KOs) and Nathan Cleverly (29-3, 15 KOs) will finally meet in a World title fight on Saturday night at the Jahnsportforum in Neubrandenburg.
WBA World Champion Braehmer returns to happy hunting ground as he looks to secure his seventh successive title defence by defeating his long-standing rival.
The German veteran captured the WBA strap against Marcus Oliveira at the Jahnsportforum in 2013, and successfully defended the belt with a shutout points victory over domestic rival Eduard Gutknecht in March this year.
‘’This is a special fight for me,’’ said Braehmer at today’s final press conference. ‘’It’s a fight I’ve wanted for a long time, and a fight the fans are excited to see. I will enter the ring, as I always do, with just one goal in my mind – to win, no matter what, and with the support of crowd in Neubrandenburg, I know I will.’’
The challenger, Cleverly, believes timing is on his side, as the former WBO Champion aims to wrestle the belt from the 37 year-old Braehmer, and begin his second World title reign.
‘’It’s great that this fight is finally happening,’’ said Cleverly. ‘’It’s been five years in the making, and finally Braehmer is stepping up to the plate.
‘’It’s a going to be a difficult fight for me, but it has come at the wrong time for him. He’s 37 years old and reaching the end of his career, and I’m 29 and just hitting my peak. Juergen is a great fighter, but he’s not ready for what I’m bringing. I want this too much and I will be bringing the belt home with me.’’
Promoter Kalle Sauerland says he is looking forward to this long-awaited World title clash, but does not expect age to be an issue for the evergreen Champion.
‘’This is a great showcase for boxing,’’ said Sauerland. ‘’We have two of the best boxers in the light heavyweight division going head-to-head in a fascinating World title fight. Nathan may be the younger man, but I believe Juergen has only got better with age, and on Saturday night, he will prove he is the better boxer.’’
While Cleverly’s promoter Eddie Hearn said he is eager to settle the score with Sauerland, and believes the challenger’s desire could be the deciding factor.
‘’Nathan is desperate to regain his World title and that makes him a dangerous man,’’ said Hearn. ‘’He’s willing to go that extra mile and that will test Braehmer’s hunger. I’ve done the calculations and Kalle is currently 3-2 up when it comes to matching our fighters, and that makes Nathan the equaliser.’’
The WBA World Light Heavyweight contest between Juergen Braehmer and Nathan Cleverly will be shown live on SAT.1 in Germany and Sky Sports in the UK.