• Light-heavyweight

Braehmer on course for Cleverly clash

ESPN staff
February 4, 2013
Juergen Braehmer has fought just three times since relinquishing his WBO belt to Nathan Cleverly © AP

Jurgen Braehmer remains on course for a long-awaited showdown with Nathan Cleverly after claiming a contentious points victory over Edward Gutknecht in Berlin.

Braehmer came out on top against the European champion, who made a strong start to the WBO light-heavyweight eliminator but was worn down by the German's power from the midway point of the fight.

With both men flagging in the late rounds there was some surprise when Braehmer was awarded the fight by unanimous decision after fielding some heavy blows from Gutknecht, though the penalty handed to the younger man for using his forearm in the ninth round may have played a role.

The judges scored the fight 117-110, 116-11 and 114-113 in favour of the former WBO champion, who could now fight Cleverly should the Welshman beat Robin Krasniqi in his upcoming mandatory defence.

Braehmer's own hold on the belt ended in 2011, when an eye injury forced him to withdraw from a mandatory defence against Cleverly, who was installed as champion.

Health issues and a run-in with the law have restricted the German to just three fights since.

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