Nathan Cleverly forced Juergen Braehmer to retire with an elbow injury after six rounds of their WBA regular light heavyweight title fight in Neubrandenberg in Germany. The result means that Cleverly, 174 1/2lbs, can claim a portion of the world crown for the first time since losing to Sergey Kovalev over three years ago.
The fight was perfectly poised at the time of the retirement. Cleverly,29, worked at his usual busy rate but while Braehmer (48-3, 35 KO’s), 173 1/4lbs, wasn’t matching him for volume, he was landing some nice left hand counters through the Welshman’s guard. Both fighters had plenty to be optimistic about as the fight entered the second half but fans will now have to wait for a contracted rematch to find out how matters might have played out.
“I’m very grateful to be world champion for the second time,” Cleverly (30-3, 16 KO’s) said after the fight. “I needed this belt back in my life. I’ve worked so hard and dedicated myself. I’m so grateful.
“I’m also so grateful for Juergen giving me the chance. He’s been a great champion. He had a great amateur pedigree and a great professional pedigree but he’s 37 years old its time for a new young champion. We have a rematch clause. If he really wants it, we can do it but tonight I broke Juergen Braehmer up.”