Jürgen Brähmer and Nathan Cleverly put on a good fight for six rounds today in Germany, good enough that the anticlimactic finish left us wanting more.
Cleverly (30-3, 16 KO) won when the fight was stopped after the sixth round, with Brähmer (48-3, 35 KO) retiring from the bout for reasons that were, at first unclear. After he got his gloves and wraps off, however, an ice pack was held on Brähmer’s right elbow, indicating that was the injury that halted the fight.
BLH had Brähmer up 58-56 at the time of stoppage, but Cleverly, 29, was making the 37-year-old veteran work at a pace he didn’t like, too. The Welshman came out on the front foot from the get-go, letting his hands fly and looking to make the German titleholder uncomfortable immediately.
Brähmer, to his credit, landed good counter shots, and even started to lead the fight a bit more in the third and fourth rounds. The fifth round was blistering, as both men threw and landed a lot of good, clean shots, Brähmer seeming to still get the better of things.
In the sixth, the output from both dropped, but Cleverly finished the round strong, which may have been due to that injury to Brähmer.
This is a fight that is deserving of a rematch, which may be tough to put together. Due to his status as an ex-convict, Brähmer has issues traveling outside of the country for a fight, and Cleverly and Matchroom Boxing may not be itching to tempt fate in Germany a second time if they don’t have to do so.
With the victory, Cleverly now holds the WBA “world” heavyweight title, an imitation of one of the three belts Sergey Kovalev holds and will defend against Andre Ward in November.