Press Releases – Sauerland
There is exciting news for Robert Helenius (18-0-0, 11ko) and Kubrat Pulev (17-0-0, 9ko) as both top heavyweight contenders currently hold the number one spot in their respective rankings. After beating former world champions Lamon Brewster, Samuel Peter and Siarhei Liakhovich, the WBO already instated Helenius as their number one fighter in September, last year. However, after the fight for the European Championship against Dereck Chisora in December 2011, the Finn had to take a longer break due to a serious shoulder injury.
On November 10, Helenius gave his successful comeback in Helsinki. After ten rounds, the “Nordic Nightmare” won a unanimous points decision against Sherman “The Tank” Williams – the WBO’s previous number ten. In their latest Rankings, 28-year-old Helenius is back as the number one ranked boxer.
Kubrat Pulev has also been enjoying some very successful months. The prodigy of coach Otto Ramin first laced his gloves as a professional in September, 2009. In his debut fight as a pro, he beat Romanian Florian Benche on points. Since then, the 31-year-old has won every single one of his 17 fights and boasts a perfect record.
The big break came this year after beating Alexander Dimitrenko to claim the European Championship on May 5 in Erfurt, Germany. Another victory followed on September 29, when the Bulgarian took on the 140-Kilo colossus Alexander Ustinov in Hamburg. Hence, the move up to first place of the official IBF (International Boxing Federation) rankings was just a matter of time.
The current WBO and IBF Champion is Wladimir Klitschko. The Ukrainian also holds the WBA Super Champion status. The regular WBA Champion is Alexander Povetkin (25-0-0, 17ko and pictured below), who is signed to Team Sauerland just like Helenius and Pulev.
“The hunt for Wladimir Klitschko is on. First, he will have to face mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin. Once that fight has happened, we will see if Klitschko is still the champion,” said a confident Kalle Sauerland.
“We already have one heavyweight world champion in Povetkin. With Robert Helenius and Kubrat Pulev we have two more fighters who [are] capable of taking the belts [from] Klitschko. Added to that, we also have 24-year-old heavyweight hopeful Edmund Gerber in our ranks. But before we can start thinking of anything else, Klitschko has to face Povetkin.”
In boxing terms the year for Team Sauerland ends with Arthur Abraham’s title defense against Mehdi Bouadla on December 15. However, the planning for 2013 has already begun and it will start off with a bang. The legendary Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany will host the all-German affair between current European Champion Eduard Gutknecht (24-1-0, 9ko) and his compatriot and stablemate Juergen Braehmer (38-2-0, 30ko) on February 2.
Gutknecht clinched the EBU title in May, 2011 by a TKO victory in round eight over Britain’s Danny McIntosh. Since then, he successfully defended the championship against Lorenzo DiGiacomo, Vyacheslav Uzelkov and Tony Averlant. The big four governing bodies of boxing all rank the prodigy of coach Ulli Wegner in their top ten.
“It is going to be a great fight,” said 30-year-old Gutknecht. “I am highly motivated for this bout. First of all, it is an all-German affair. Added to that, the winner will get a crack at a world championship. Juergen Braehmer is one of the big names in the world of boxing. I am really looking forward to be facing him inside the ring.”
Former WBO titlist Juergen Braehmer is also full of confidence when he is thinking ahead to the fight. ”I am just excited about getting back into the ring and fighting for my new team for the first time. I know what it feels like to be a European and world champion. My goal is to get back to that level. I have the chance to prove to everybody what I am capable of on
February 2. I want to get back to the top,“ said the 34-year-old, coached by Karsten Roewer.
Chris Meyer, managing director of Sauerland Event: “We are happy to kick off the new year in Berlin. This will be a very exciting fight. Eduard Gutknecht is the current WBC number two, Juergen Braehmer is listed as the number two
by the WBO. February 2 is not just about the highly regarded EBU Light Heavyweight Championship but also the position as the mandatory challenger for the WBO Crown.”
Tickets for the show at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany will be available next week at www.eventim.de.
Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
Former heavyweight world champion Ruslan Chagaev (27-2-1, 17ko) will attempt to bounce back from defeat to current Regular WBA titlist Aleksandr Povetkin last summer, by attempting to dismantle Kertson Manswell (22-3-0, 17ko) at the Grand Elysee in Hamburg on January 28 in what will be a crossroads clash for both prizefighters.
The eight rounder supplements a celebration of boxing’s big boys in Germany as feared prospect Rakim Chakhiev (11-0-0, 9ko) takes on Alexander Kotlobay (21-2-1, 15ko) in a 200lb bout set for ten threes, undefeated Denis Boytsov (29-0-0, 24ko) clashes with Darnell Wilson (24-13-3, 20ko) in a heavyweight fight over eight rounds, Firat Arslan (31-5-1, 20ko) will trade cruiserweight shots with Orlando Farias (23-10-0, 12ko) and former 175lb titlist Juergen Braehmer (36-2-0, 29ko) takes on Jose Maria Guerrero (29-2-1, 11ko) in a light heavyweight match-up.
Top female featherweight Ina Menzer (27-1-0, 10ko) also collides with inexperienced Milena Koleva (3-3-1, 0ko) over eight twos.
Admin – On The Beak
On The Beak‘s build-up to Frank Warren‘s latest boxing extravaganza will be linked here. The much-publicised ‘This Is It‘ event is sure to eclipse anything Warren has put together in recent memory due to the calibre of the card, the bad blood and the world title fight that’s all on show! Check back every day to see what’s added (all links below).
For the updated undercard fights, including main-event bout, click here.
Monday, May 16
Tuesday, May 17
Wednesday, May 18
Thursday, May 19
Friday, May 20
Saturday, May 21
Alan Dawson – London
Nathan Cleverly had long been gunning for durable German Juergen Braehmer yet the WBO champion pulled out of his defence this week leaving the up-and-coming Briton without an opponent for the This Is It event on Saturday, May 21 at the 02 Arena, London. Cleverly will still box this weekend, though, with domestic light heavyweight rival Tony Bellew or Aleksy Kuziemski expected to get the nod as late replacement.
Tale Of The Tape
|Record||21-0-0, 10ko||21-2-0, 5ko|
Analysis – Nathan Cleverly
The feeling of frustration due to training hard during an eight-to-ten week camp only to hear his opponent has pulled out of the contest during fight week is an all too familiar emotion for Cleverly who, in his last bout, was matched with Nadjib Mohammedi (23-2-0, 12ko) even though he was originally slated to box Alejandro Lakatos for the WBO’s interim light heavyweight belt.
Likewise, the sight of Braehmer (36-2-0, 29ko) or, to put it more accurately, the no-show of Braehmer has also become a leit motif. WBA champion Beibut Shumenov and Braehmer were due to meet in a unification fight earlier in the year, however, Braehmer pulled out of the bout citing injury.
Again, injury has been offered for the excuse to not fight Clev but promoter Frank Warren has blasted the lack of professionalism from Braehmer and his team as Warren and Cleverly were informed of Juergen’s apparent eye cut via internet reports.
The ability to adapt to a new style of fighter this weekend will be something forced upon the undefeated Welshman from a little known area called Cefn Forest and, judging from his performance against Mohammedi, it can be something he is uncomfortable with.
Mohammedi had a contrasting fighting style to Lakatos – who Cleverly had been preparing for. Against Lakatos, the gameplan was to emerge triumphant in a toe-to-toe slobberknocker yet the man he met in the ring, an awkward Frenchman who had only once been defeated, was a mover and refused to stay static. Cleverly even failed to sufficiently exert his jab against the ever elusive Mohammedi and the home fighter was also deducted a point in the middle rounds by referee Dave Parris for clinching.
Cleverly has spent all training camp preparing to face a southpaw fighter and had at least one good week sparring with stablemate James DeGale (who co-headlines the This Is It event in his tussle with George Groves).
Southpaws are a minority breed and the likelihood of finding a top-50 ranked leftie on such short notice was always going to be slim. Cleverly has to adjust to fighting an orthodox boxer and, following official confirmation today, Thursday, that orthodox fighter will likely be Tony Bellew (15-0-0, 10ko).
Bellew’s nickhame is ‘The Bomber’… and with good reason as the man has power but, like some of his colleagues in the puncher-boxer category, he has a questionable chin having twice been dropped by Ovill McKenzie, once by Bob Ajisafe and once by Jevgenijs Andrejevs.
Cleverly has swift hands and can throw together decent combinations when he gets going. His defence, too, is stiff as he employs an upright guard – completely covering his face. The transition between defence and attack, though, in past fights, has lacked the fluidity and rhythm of, say, DeGale, and so there may be openings for Bellew.
At nearly 6’2, Cleverly is a tall light-heavyweight with an almost svelte physique. He is naturally very athletic. He has no issues going the distance and is a proven 12-round fighter. His work-rate and general punch-output are rather good and he has also been working with Darren Wilson; a strength and conditioning coach, in order to ensure he produces an optimum performance on Saturday night.
Regarding his work with Wilson, Cleverly said: “It’s that extra element that can add a couple of percent to my performance”. The exercises Wilson has been instructing Cleverly to do have largely been plyometric-based (think fast and powerful) and have included weight training – in particular squat and lifts – and striking tractor tyres with a sledgehammer; an action that replicates the conditioning of the core muscles used when chopping logs, for example. With sledgehammering tyres, though, there is a greater range of motion.
The core muscle groups that are worked include: shoulders, lats, biceps and forearms and it, additionally, improves eye-to-hand co-ordination which is obviously a bonus for a boxer when picking his shots.
Conditioner Wilson said: “[We've been doing] bag work, ground work, kettlebells, Olympic weights, standard weight training, rope training… loads of different stuff really.”
With all the strength work it will be interesting to find out whether this has already translated to explosive punch power. Prior to Cleverly’s slim decision win with Mohammedi, he had secured seven stoppages in succession. He will surely be looking to bolster his knockout ratio this weekend as he will enter the ring as the WBO’s full champion at light heavyweight. The Puerto Rican based boxing organisation elected to strip Braehmer of the honour he clung onto for too long without much ring-action to actually speak of during his uneventful reign.
Awaiting confirmation for opponent.
Tommy Barber – London
British boxing was promised a thrilling night on Saturday, May 21 as Frank Warren organised another night with two headlining events supported by a stacked undercard, however, disappointingly, Juergen Braehmer has withdrawn from his WBO world light heavyweight title defence against Nathan Cleverly, citing injury. Cleverly has lambasted the German southpaw, claiming the champion has “ducked out”.
‘I’m absolutely devastated, to be honest,” Cleverly (21-0-0, 10) informed Sky Sports News. “This is the fight that I really wanted. I’ve been gunning for Juergen Braehmer for over a year now – he’s got the world title, he was the champion. I badly wanted to get this guy in the ring and win the title in style. It’s very unprofessional that he hasn’t turned up.”
Cleverly added the WBO’s interim world title to his honours list in December last year as he emerged triumphant over awkward Frenchman Nadjib Mohammedi. Prior to that Cleverly scored a technical knockout win over Karo Murat in an eliminator contest for the full title. He has long been the number one challenger to Braehmer’s belt and, after Warren won the right to stage the fight earlier in the year, seemed like he had finally gotten a shot at his man – and the WBO championship.
Braehmer, though, has pulled out of the fight – scheduled for this Saturday at London’s 02 Arena – due to an alleged eye injury yet Cleverly believes he never really fancied the bout.
“He’s ducked out of the fight as far as I’m concerned. The proof is there now that he doesn’t want to fight me. I knew he didn’t want the fight with me so I was a bit anxious, I knew he was a temperamental character and had a feeling he wouldn’t turn up.
“I can’t understand the mentality,” Clev added. “He’s taken the easy route and decided not to fight me, and it’s so frustrating. He’s let everyone down.”
It is not the first time a boxer has pulled out of a contest against undefeated Cleverly. Mohammedi was a late replacement for Alejandro Lakatos and, once again, Warren will act swiftly in order to save his main event. Cleverly, though, has been preparing himself for a southpaw fighter and even sparred with stablemate James DeGale. The Welshman has now said he will have to “mentally refocus” as Warren aims to draft in a top-50 ranked world fighter on short notice.
The promoter will also be appealing to the WBO to strip Braehmer of his world title as he has already opted out of a scheduled fight this year, withdrawing from a unification contest against Beibut Shumenov. Braehmer won the WBO title in 2009 but in the two years since then has only defended it once. Cleverly may be upgraded to full champion status or he may be able to still fight for it outright should the WBO strip Braehmer of the honour.
“All my sparring has been against southpaws basically, so I’m going to have to mentally refocus now,” said Nathan. “I’ve got to make sure I’m on top of my game. As difficult as it is, I’ve just got to be professional about it. Maybe I’ll be elevated to world champion, but as far as I’m concerned I’m still fighting on Saturday night against a ranked opponent for the world title, so my celebration will begin when I get the business done on Saturday night.”
Tommy Barber – London
British Boxing promoter Frank Warren, responsible for matching Joe Calzaghe with Bernard Hopkins in 2008, will again look to the ‘Executioner’ as a potential opponent for rising Welsh fighter Nathan Cleverly – an undefeated light heavyweight who challenges Juergen Braehmer for his WBO world title on the This Is It event on Saturday, May 21 at the 02 Arena, London.
“I got the Hopkins fight for Joe Calzaghe and I would love to bring him over to face Wales’ new star, Nathan Cleverly,” Warren is alleged to have said by Sporting Life. “This light-heavyweight division is red-hot at the moment. You’ve got quality fighters holding the belts, and the world’s top five is dominated by Americans.
“This really is a massive opportunity for Cleverly, but he’s got Braehmer to deal with first on Saturday night which is a tough, hard, fight for him. The fight is going out live on EPIX in the States as well, so he’s got a massive platform on which to make a huge statement.”
Cleverly’s British peers achieved worldwide acclaim for breakout performances and he believes that his upcoming bout with Braehmer – who bettered Carl Froch and Ricky Hatton as amateurs – will rank alongside Hatton’s triumph over Kostya Tyszu and Calzaghe’s domination of Jeff Lacy.
“Ricky Hatton fought Kostya Tyszu, Joe Calzaghe beat Jeff Lacy, this is a similar kind of fight,” Cleverly said.
“My whole career has been building towards this moment, and I’m ready to take it with both hands. Winning a world title has always been my dream, ever since I was 10 or 11 years old. To face an established world champion, on a massive night of boxing, is what I’ve always wanted.
“I’m so fired up for this fight and I believe that it’s my time. I was ringside for Calzaghe-Lacy. It was an evening when Joe made the world sit up and take notice of him. I’ll do the same against Braehmer.”
The grudge fight between James DeGale and George Groves – a bout that supports Clev’s title shot – has fully eclipsed the publicity given to the main event, however, that has not fazed Cleverly (21-0-0, 10ko) who insists the performances in the ring will restore column inches in his favour.
“DeGale is in a real grudge fight against Groves, but I guarantee that my fight against Braehmer will have just as much spice if not more.”
Tommy Barber – London
Commonwealth Super Middleweight champion and British title challenger George Groves is in no mood for niceties when discussing his bout with long-time rival James DeGale at the 02 Arena, London on Saturday, May 21. Nathan Cleverly, who features in the main event against WBO World Light Heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer, has been given the backing of Britain’s only champion to retire undefeated – Joe Calzaghe.
“DeGale is a joke,” Groves said, as reported by FrankWarrenTV.com. Groves (12-0-0, 10ko) believes DeGale’s motor-mouthing has gone into overdrive for this particular contest, labeled a grudge fight, because DeGale (10-0-0, 8ko) lost a somewhat controversial points decision to Groves while the two tussled in an amateur dust-up.
“He has always trash-talked everyone,” added the Hayemaker protege. “He just can’t handle the fact he got beat and he will get beat again, this time in front of more people.
“I am going to end the DeGale myth once and for all. It’s nonsense and I am going to make him suffer.”
Such is the press that DeGale and Groves’ bout has been attracting, that it has overshadowed the main event of the evening – Unbeaten Cleverly’s first world title shot against experienced and battle-toughened German; Braehmer.
“Braehmer’s a southpaw and can punch so Nathan has to be very careful,” Calzaghe, a former stablemate of Cleverly’s, explained to Walesonline. “From 16 or 17 Nathan has had the work ethic and you can see how fit he is and how good he is. We had hundreds of rounds of sparring, world class sparring. He has been there and fought on a big stage, like Las Vegas and the Millennium Stadium so he knows what that atmosphere is like.
“He is centre stage now and needs to step up but I believe he can. He’s definitely something special and I really can’t wait for him to fulfil his destiny and win this title.”
London’s 02 Arena on Saturday, May 21
(WBO champion TBC)
|TBA (Tony Bellew)
|James DeGaleSuper Middleweight
|George GrovesSuper Middleweight
|Billy Joe SaundersMiddleweight||Kevin Hammond
|Paul SmithSuper Middleweight
|Jamie CoxSuper Welterweight||Marcus Portman
|George Michael CarmanWelterweight
|Lewis ReesSuper Lightweight
|Francis RobinsonSuper Lightweight
Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
British boxing promoter, Frank Warren, who celebrated his 30th year in the business side of the fight game last December, has lambasted recent pay-per-view fights including David Haye and Audley Harrison, Amir Khan and Paul McCloskey and also Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley’s bout last Saturday, May 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas.
“It is every boxer’s dream to fight for a world title but in recent months we’ve seen too many turn up for a payday and turn in some awful performances,” Warren scathingly noted in his column at The Sun.
“Audley Harrison hardly threw a punch [he landed one jab against Haye last year] and Paul McCloskey [lost every round to Khan] disappointed in big pay-per-view fights with a world title at stake.
“And, last Saturday, Shane Mosley clearly went through the motions against Manny Pacquiao. I thought Pacquiao would win in Las Vegas but I didn’t expect Mosley to be a no-show. It’s difficult for any fighter, even the Pacman when the other guy doesn’t come to fight but merely survive.”
Warren claimed the fight that saved the Las Vegas card last weekend was battling Mexican Jorge Arce’s (pictured) winning performance against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr.
He said: “Thankfully there was a decent undercard featuring Jorge Arce against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr which turned out to be a good fight. So at least there was some value for money for US pay-per-view punters.
“Pacquiao-Mosley was a pay-per-view box office smash with estimates at a minimum of 1.2 million buyers. Mosley had a responsibility to those fans but at 39-years-old I suppose he was content to cop his money and run.
“Next up for Pacman? Juan Manuel Marquez is the name being mentioned for a third time against Manny – now he will come to fight. Although he didn’t look good against Floyd Mayweather Jr, Marquez has come back with wins of Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis.
“The Pacman will be out again in November but the truth is it’s a real shame it won’t be against Mayweather.”
Warren has his own huge night on Saturday, May 21 as he presents Nathan Cleverly’s world title challenge against WBO World Light Heavyweight titlist Juergen Braehmer. The co-headlining bout is the highly-publicised grudge fight between Commonwealth belt holder at super middleweight George Groves and British champion James DeGale.
Such is the press fascination over the two fights (Groves and DeGale’s rivalry is said to emulate the one enjoyed between British pair Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank) that there will be international attention paid to London’s 02 Arena. It will even be broadcast on a big screen in Times Square, New York City.
Warren beamed: “There are sure to be fireworks when Cleverly takes on Braehmer and DeGale meets Groves. Those fights will be about pride, heart and desire. And I had some really good news this week that the show will be screened live in the States by Epix; a fledgling channel that has only been going for a couple of years – it’s great for boxing that more TV companies are getting involved in the sport.”
Tommy Barber – London
World title hopeful Nathan Cleverly challenges Juergen Braehmer for his WBO World Light Heavyweight title on Saturday, May 21 at the 02 Arena, London and, should he emerge triumphant, is keen on sharing a ring with WBC World Super Middleweight titlist and Super Six World Boxing Classic contender Carl Froch in what would be sure to be a thrilling ‘Battle of Britain’ bout.
(Video embedded above credit – Youtube, CJGFilmsUK)
Cleverly (21-0-0, 10ko) has long been the number one contender to Braehmer’s belt but due to the German southpaw’s legal difficulties outside the ring – he was embroiled in two separate attacks in past years and allegedly faced a prison sentence – a fight has proved arduous to finalise.
British boxing promoter Frank Warren won the right to stage the event and so, for only the second time in Braehmer’s professional career, he will have to fight outside his homeland.
Undefeated Cleverly is looking to defeat the durable German as it will lead the way to lucrative fights at light heavyweight, potentially with big-names like veteran American Bernard Hopkins, knockout puncher Tavoris Cloud, current consensus number one at 175lbs Jean Pascal and even a Wales versus England affair against Nottingham’s Carl Froch.
“If I beat Braehmer and get the world title it will open so many doors,” Cleverly who, in the embedded video above can be found going through a training regime for his upcoming fight, is quoted by the News of the World to have said. “Carl Froch would be a great one for the UK. Provided Carl wins the Super Six then moves up to light-heavyweight and I win the world title, I don’t see why it can’t happen.
“He wanted Joe Calzaghe but Joe has retired and isn’t coming back,” said Clev. “I’m the next big thing and was Joe’s understudy so we can get it on and have a great battle.
“The sooner it happens the better for British boxing fans. We need a big fight like that because we are lacking big fights. Carl is a great fighter and he puts his heart and soul on the line like me.
“I think it’d be a really top class war. But I’ve got to get the world title first.”
Cleverly tackles Braehmer (36-2-0, 29ko) on the much-publicised This Is It card. Co-headlining the show will be the highly-anticipated grudge fight between long-time rivals James DeGale and George Groves. For full undercard listing, click here.
Tommy Barber – London
WBO World Light Heavyweight challenger Nathan Cleverly and British super middleweight titlist James DeGale, both operating under the promotional arm of Frank Warren, have had to cease sparring due to the apparent high quality posing a danger to their upcoming bouts on the This Is It card on May 21 at London’s 02 Arena. Both fighters said it was the hardest spar they had experienced.
“At the moment, James is a dangerous animal,” Cleverly (21-0-0, 10ko) said on Frankwarren.tv. Cleverly has already achieved honours at British, Commonwealth and European level and, in two weeks’ time, will be looking to add a world title to his locker as he clashes with experienced German southpaw Juergen Braehmer (36-2-0, 29ko).
DeGale (10-0-0, 8ko) provides chief support to Cleverly’s title challenge at the This Is It show as he takes part in a much-publicised grudge fight with long-time rival George Groves (12-0-0, 9ko). In a bid to prepare both boxers for the most significant bout of their professional careers they have, over the past couple weeks, been sparring each other, however, they have had to call off training together a week ahead of schedule.
“We just couldn’t risk any more sparring because we didn’t want to take the edge off before our fights on May 21,” noted Clev. “It’s the hardest sparring I’ve ever had, and remember, I sparred with Joe Calzaghe and Enzo Maccarinelli when they were both world champions.”
DeGale also believes he has greatly benefited from sparring with Cleverly. He said: “Nathan is definitely Britain’s next world champion and I can’t ever remember having harder sessions. Nathan just never stops throwing punches. He was the perfect preparation for Groves because I had to work a lot harder in sparring than I’ll have to against ugly kid [Groves].”
DeGale’s trainer, Jim McDonnell, oversaw the sessions and likened the quality to world level.
“I would have gladly paid to go and watch this in an arena. In James and Nathan you have got two of the best young fighters in the country right now and there was fireworks when they sparred. There were times when it was better than some world title fights that I have seen, it really was that good. Both lads are good friends and have a lot of respect for each other, and before sparring started they would be chatting away and having a laugh. But as soon as that first bell went, they would be in there throwing leather like there was no tomorrow.
“I’d have loved to have seen another week of sparring,” said McDonnell. “But I want James to save his best for George Groves rather than waste it on Nathan Cleverly.”
Footage of the sessions is expected to be released publicly later this month as a promo video was released just recently (see below, credit – Youtube, FrankWarren).