Juergen Braehmer captured the European light heavyweight title and a chance to face Nathan Cleverly for the WBO belt that he never lost, beating Eduard Gutknecht in a terrific battle today in Berlin.
Juergen Braehmer used his boxing skills and some veteran savvy to overcome a younger, determined Eduard Gutknecht today in Berlin, winning an action-packed fight on scores of 114-113, 116-111, and 117-110. BLH had it 114-113 for Braehmer, the difference being a point deduction against Gutknecht.
Braehmer (39-2, 30 KO) was clearly the superior boxer of the two, but Gutknecht (24-2, 9 KO) stayed in the fight because he was in better shape, pushing the 34-year-old veteran to go hard for the entire 12 rounds. That resulted in Braehmer gassing out a bit late in the fight, and eventually to falling over quite a bit in search of another point deduction to seal any potential close scoring in his favor, but to Braehmer's credit, he kept on landing shots until the final round, where he was totally spent and basically gave the frame away.
The two engaged in back-and-forth action throughout the entire fight, with little let-up. Gutknecht, 30, did earn the point that was taken from him, and referee Terry O'Connor handled Gutknecht's tactics pretty well -- there's no doubt that he was a bit dirty in there, and he was from the get-go. But O'Connor kept it in check well enough, and didn't overstep. Gutknecht may have earned a second point deduction that never came, but the referee avoided making too big a difference in the scoring.
Braehmer's talent won him this fight, though, and make no mistake about that. He showed that the skills are still there, and if he is able to actually show up for a fight with WBO titlist Nathan Cleverly, then that's an interesting fight. He knows how to handle himself in the ring, and he's a smart fighter, too. He's well above the level of opposition Cleverly has faced since Tony Bellew.
On the undercard, light heavyweight prospect Robert Woge stayed unbeaten, advancing to 11-0 (10 KO) with a comeback stoppage of France's Hakim Zoulikha (18-4, 9 KO). This was an even more exciting fight than the main event, perhaps, but the combination of these two bouts made this a better show than most major US cards. Woge, 28, is still very raw, but he's entertaining, has a big heart, and can bang.
Also winning on the undercard were Dustin Dirks, Dominik Britsch, Tyron Zeuge, Enrico Kolling, and in his pro debut, Deion Jumah.