Former super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe is leaning in the direction of Nathan Cleverly (29-3, 15 KOs) to defeated longstanding WBA light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer (48-2, 35 KOs) this Saturday night in Germany. Calzaghe like the 29-year-old Cleverly’s hand speed, boxing skills and work-rate in this fight to lead him to victory over the 37-year-old Braehmer.
Calzaghe thinks the judges will give it to Cleverly if he fights well and shows himself to be the better fighter. The fight being in Germany has some boxing fans wondering whether Cleverly can win if the fight goes to the scorecards.
There has been a number of fights in that country over the years that have had odd results that didn’t match the fights that took place inside the ring. The foreign fighters have at times felt like they were given the short end of the stick when traveling to Germany to fight a German based fighter.
“This is a great opportunity for Nathan,” said Cleverly. “Braehmer is a good boxer but if Nathan fights an intelligent fight, and uses his hand speed and work rate, I definitely fancy him to win. If I was facing Braehmer, I would have done what I always did. I would have used my speed and my boxing ability, and I think I would have won comfortably.”
Calzaghe is a much different fighter than Cleverly though. Calzaghe’s defense is far better than Cleverly, and he had faster hand speed and higher work rate. Cleverly has always been fairly easy to hit, and tends to stand directly in front of his opponents without using his boxing skills. We’ve seen the results of Cleverly’s flawed fighting style with him getting beaten by Sergey Kovalev, Tony Bellew and Andrzej Fonfara.
If Cleverly had used movement in those fights, he might have been able to win. The Kovalev fight would have been a difficult one for Cleverly to win no matter what he did, because he didn’t have the power, chin or the mobility to deal with the Russian fighter’s pressure. But you can argue that Cleverly could have beaten Bellew and Fonfara if he had used his boxing skills rather than brute force to try and beat him.
“He’s away, fighting in Germany, so he will need to start fast and dominate the rounds, as any 50-50 rounds will go to the home fighter, but I still fancy him to do it,” said Calzaghe about Cleverly. “We saw Enzo Maccarinelli giving Braehmer some trouble at home before his eye started to swell.”
Maccarinelli made the mistake of staying on the outside against Braehmer and eating a lot of jabs and straight left hands. This resulted in Maccarinelli’s left eye swelling up leading to the fight being stopped. Cleverly can’t stay on the outside if he wants to beat Braehmer.