Braehmer (48-2, 35 KO), who first won the title in 2013 and has six successful defenses under his belt, has been stuck in his native Germany throughout his reign due to his criminal record. As a result, he’s dealt with decent-but-uninspiring opposition, creating an odd situation wherein Cleverly (29-3, 15 KO) shouldn’t be fighting for a title but is still his toughest test in ages.
The Welshman is 1-2 in his last three, sandwiching a 24-second knockout of the hopelessly overmatched Tomas Man between decision losses to Tony Bellew and Andrzej Fonfara. The Fonfara loss was his first appearance at 175 since getting stomped into the dirt by Sergey Kovalev in 2013 and losing his WBO belt in the process.
One complicating factor is that the WBA recently ordered Braehmer to face "Super" champion Kovalev, although they’re willing to put a stay on that demand to allow the planned November showdown between Kovalev and Andre Ward.
Title shenanigans aside, it’s a solid fight from a purely mechanical standpoint. Think Clev finally gets a title again?