Juergen Braehmer and Nathan Cleverly to finally fight in Germany on October 1
Last Updated: 22/07/16 2:43pm
Juergen Braehmer and Nathan Cleverly will finally meet in a world title fight in Germany, live on Sky Sports.
WBA world light-heavyweight champion Braehmer (48-2-KO35) will put his title on the line against his long-standing rival Cleverly (29-3-KO15) at the Jahnsportforum in Neubrandenburg, on October 1.
The pair were first meant to meet back in 2011 at the O2, London, on the same card that saw George Groves beat bitter foe James DeGale and another fight was mooted last year, only for Cleverly to decide to fight in America against Andrzej Fonfara in October.
But former WBO world title holder Braehmer will finally get the chance to take on the Welshman this year and is aiming to make it seven successful WBA world title defences.
''In boxing you can never say never,'' said Braehmer.
I look forward to meeting Nathan Cleverly in the ring at the Jahnsportforum and proving once and for all who is the better boxer
''This is a fight the fans have wanted to see for a long time and I'm happy it's finally happening. I look forward to meeting Nathan Cleverly in the ring at the Jahnsportforum and proving once and for all who is the better boxer.
''Cleverly is a good fighter. He is a former world champion and I believe he is still one of the best light heavyweights in the world. He has a very exciting offensive style, which I'm sure will make for a great match-up. I will be expecting a tough fight, but with the support of the fans in Neubrandenburg, I'm confident I will win.''
It's like the old dog fighting the young dog, experience versus youth, but I'm 29 and I have a bagful of experience of my own
Cleverly held the WBO world title at 175lbs for two years, only to lose to Sergey Kovalev and then failing to make it two wins out of two against bitter rival Tony Bellew at cruiserweight.
He returned to his familiar weight straight away and, although he lost to Fonfara, it was a candidate for the Fight of the Year in 2015 and showed the 26-year-old is ready to return to the top level.
"This fight has been destined to happen and I can't wait now," said Cleverly.
"It's finally here - Juergen and I will finally go to battle and I'm looking forward to the challenge.
"I've had a good recovery period and rest since the Fonfara fight and I feel fantastic. I've had a few niggles and injuries over the last couple of fights but I've recovered from them. I'm invigorated and I'm ready to strike again on the world scene and become a two-time world champion.
"Juergen is a great champion and an underrated one. He's a puncher that has pedigree in the pros and all the way back to the amateurs, he's a proper professional and a credit to the game.
"It's like the old dog fighting the young dog, experience versus youth, but I'm 29 and I have a bagful of experience of my own and I know what I have to do - I am going into the champion's backyard and I need to rip the title off him, and that's what I intend to do."
German promoter Kalle Sauerland is expecting Braehmer's third consecutive fight in Neubrandenburg, north-eastern Germany, to be worth the five-year wait.
He said: "This is a fight people have been talking about for the last five years, and I'm sure it will live up to everybody's expectations. Fans should prepare for an explosive fight and a great night of action.''
And despite Matchroom fighters Martin Murray and Paul Smith both losing to Sauerland star star Arthur Abraham out in Germany, Cleverly's promoter Eddie Hearn is expecting Britain to be celebrating another world title win.
"After his fight of the year contender with Fonfara we have been looking at the big fights only and Braehmer was always the target, it's a fight that Nathan fancies and has wanted for a long time," he said.
"I believe that on October 1, Britain will have another world champion."