The Mail Pouch: McGarry Chimes In Again

By William Trillo

It looks like our avid reader David McGarry is becoming a regular contributor to our site and we welcome his on point thoughts. Allow me to step back and allow McGarry to break down the coming events for the month of October.

Dear Mr. Trillo,

September was a bad month for British boxing and October could hardly have got off to a worse start with news that heavyweight champion Tyson Fury allegedly testing positive for cocaine. Not only will Fury be stripped of his titles, but it means Wladimir Klitschko is going to be with us for a while longer, telling everyone who’ll listen how he was going to win back his titles. Yeah right, you planned on throwing punches this time, did you Wladimir? Worst of all, Tyson’s antics have dragged down the career of his unbeaten younger cousin, Hughie Fury.

At least we have a so-called world title fight to look forward to today. In Neubrandenburg, WBA light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer is supposed to be defending his title against Nathan Cleverly. Hopefully he’ll turn up this time. The German had agreed to defend the WBO version of the title against the same opponent five years ago and then changed his mind two days before the fight without ever giving an excuse. Cleverly went on to win the vacant title.

After four successful defences, Cleverly was brutalised over four rounds by Sergei Kovalev and has not been the same since. A brief foray into the cruiserweight division did not go well, and now he’s back, hoping to win another world title.

Meanwhile, Braehmer has returned and some skillful matchmaking by his promoter has seen him reclaim his old title. He has followed the Sauerland blueprint for German boxers: whenever possible pick opponents with limited punching power and a few losses on their record, always fight at home and if all else fails you can rely on the judges just so long as you last the full distance.

Nathan Cleverly fits that bill perfectly, but have Team Braehmer miscalculated this time? The Welsh challenger is 29 and still reasonably fresh whereas the champion is 37. One of Cleverly’s best attributes is his very high work rate – don’t be surprised if he throws over 1,000 punches over the 12 rounds. That would force Braehmer to work every minute of every round and risk tiring well before the end. Also, Cleverly seems motivated because Braehmer said a lot of things during the build up to the fight five years ago and then, basically, ran away.

My prediction: this would be a stroll in the park for Cleverly if it was taking place in any other country, however, he has to overcome a hostile crowd, the most notorious judging in the world and a boxer who is probably very keen to “set the record straight”. The challenger has a decent height and reach advantage, so if he keeps the fight at long range and focuses on a high volume of accurate punches, he could still persuade those judges to do the right thing. If the champion is able to close the distance and drag his opponent into a brawl then anything could happen. Braehmer will be especially keen to inflict a cut somehow and try to force a stoppage. I think Cleverly will do just enough good work for neutral observers to feel he won, but not enough to ensure the judges agree. A narrow points win for the champion.

Whoever wins should not be considered a true world champion. Sergai Kovalev has already stopped Cleverly and would hardly break into a sweat while dispatching Braehmer. Adonis Stevenson would probably stop both of them, although Cleverly would have a chance if he could use movement and high work rate to tire the older, smaller guy.

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One Response to “The Mail Pouch: McGarry Chimes In Again”

  1. David McGarry says:

    It was for the WBA title. My mistake.