Juergen Braehmer Out of Saturday’s Semi-Final
By: Ste Rowen
Juergen Braehmer has pulled out of this weekend’s World Boxing Super Series semi-final vs Callum Smith due to illness. The super middle & light heavyweight veteran said,
‘I have been battling a feverish infection since Sunday. Unfortunately, a fight in this state is out of the question.’
In to replace Braehmer is the unbeaten Dutchman and kickboxer, Nieky Holzen. Holzen currently holds a 13-0 (10KOs) record in a pro boxing career that started in 2013. This will be just the second time he has fought outside of the Netherlands professionally as a boxer, the other occasion was also in Germany. He was set to fight Dmitrii Chudinov before he received the call to make the step up to the WBSS, and he didn’t seem fazed by the prospect of facing Callum Smith,
‘I signed up as a substitute fighter so I’m in great shape and prepared for Saturday. I’ve watched Callum fight many times…He’s a good, solid fighter. We’re both big body punchers…Callum, you better be ready, because I am and I’m coming to beat you!’
Holzen has already fought this year, stopping the well-travelled Ukrainian, Viktor Polyakov, 13-3-1 (6KOs), in the 2nd round just 17 days ago.
Smith, 23-0 (17KOs), seemed slightly annoyed but unmoved by the change of opponent,
‘I gave an interview last week and said it’s great there have been no drop-outs…We got the call as we were boarding the plane. I am committed to fighting on Saturday and will fight whoever the WBSS puts in front of me.’
Up until last Saturday, across both the cruiser and super middleweight tournaments, the series has been lucky to not suffer any injuries. Now with Braehmer out and the uncertainty around George Groves’ shoulder injury, it will be a real test for the Sauerlands and Richard Schaefer, to keep the closing stages of the super middleweight draw exciting.
WBSS Results: Braehmer Defeats Brant
By: Ste Rowen
Juergen Braehmer made sure he continued the winning trend for seeded fighters in the World Boxing Super Series, as he dominated American prospect, Rob Brant to a twelve round unanimous decision and hardly looked troubled in doing so.
It was a tentative first round to begin with as Brant tried to force the German back with wayward right hands. The ‘dark horse’ of the competition however was being caught by an accurate Braehmer jab. As the rounds continued Braehmer upped his punch output and began to dominate.
Not only was he landing but he was making ‘Bravo’ miss time and time again with some wonderful head movement, evading Brant’s best shots and then attacking with his own powerful left hand.
More rounds passed by and Brant was looking all out of ideas. Braehmer kept to his skillset, landing accurately with the 1-2 and continuing to expose the American’s lack of a plan B. There was very little difference in round two through to round twelve other than the expression on Rob Brant’s face and as the last bell rang it was clear for all to see that the former Light Heavyweight Champion, Juergen Braehmer was going through to the semi-finals. The scorecards came back as, 119-109, 118-110, 116-112, all for Braehmer.
Speaking in the ring post-fight, now 49-3-0 Braehmer, through a translator said, ‘It was the first time I was training by myself. I felt really fit tonight, sometimes I was a little bit stiff and I wanted too much to knock him out but I showed what I can still do at 39 years of age.’
On the prospect of facing Callum Smith, ‘I was in training camp with his opponent Erik Skoglund and I know exactly what I can do in the ring. Now I have even more confidence. I’m back and I can prove what I can do.’
Callum Smith also joined Braehmer in the ring post-fight saying, ‘He was good, he did a good job … He was the bigger man, he used his size and showed there’s still a little bit left in the tank at 39.’
On where their future bout will be held Smith said, ‘I’d love to fight in Liverpool, I like fighting in Liverpool but I believe I’m the better man and wherever the fight is I still believe I’ll prevail and come out with the win.’
The WBSS Super Middleweight semi-finals are as follows;
George Groves v Chris Eubank Jr
Juergen Braehmer v Callum Smith
WBSS Preview: Juergen Braehmer v Rob Brant
By: Ste Rowen
After seven consecutive weeks of tournament boxing, the eighth and final World Boxing Super Series quarter final takes place in the German city of Scherwin on Friday. Former WBO and WBA ‘Regular’ Light Heavyweight Champion Juergen Braehmer (48-3-0 35KOs) faces undefeated prospect Rob ‘Bravo’ Brant (22-0-0 15KOs) for a place in the semi-finals of the Super Middleweight WBSS and the right to face Callum Smith.
Braehmer hasn’t fought at the 168lb limit since September 2007. Ten years and twenty consecutive bouts fighting as a light heavyweight. In his most recent outing Braehmer lost his WBA ‘Regular’ title to Nathan Cleverly over twelve months ago, when in the sixth round Juergen withdrew due to a dislocated elbow and the fight was called a TKO victory for Cleverly. Before then Braehmer was on a seventeen-fight win streak, which most notably included a stoppage win over Enzo Maccarinelli and two unanimous decision victories over Edward Gutknecht. However, despite his 51 bouts Braehmer is a boxer without a landmark win. He’s never fought outside of Germany and even when fighting at super middleweight he failed to get into the mix with the divisions biggest names at the time such as Jeff Lacey, Mikkel Kessler and Joe Calzaghe.
Despite that, the southpaw has found his way into the tournament as a seeded fighter and so far in both the Cruiserweight and the Super Middleweight draws, all of the seeded fighters have won their bouts.
As Braehmer comes down, Rob Brant is coming up. The current holder of the WBA-NABA Middleweight title has made his career fighting at the 160lb limit. The heaviest he’s fought at is just over 166lb back in 2014 when he stopped Mickey Scarborough in Minnesota. ‘Bravo’ had been quietly going about his business, steadily building the foundations for a title push at middleweight when the opportunity came around to fight in the Super Series.
The only American across the whole tournament also has to contend with the fact that this will be his first twelve round bout. He’s fought in five ten round fights, with only one of those going the distance when Brant scored a majority decision over Louis Rose, 13-2-1 at the time.
Although a relative unknown, Brant’s aggressive, come forward style should make him a fan favourite, but only as long as he can deploy his game plan. His opponent’s awkward, southpaw style and perhaps overlooked power could stifle ‘Bravo’, especially if the fight makes it into the championship rounds, a place the American hasn’t experienced yet as a pro.
The tournament has lacked for coverage in the US but Brant could be the beacon that lights the way for America in the series, much like recently retired and fellow American, Andre Ward did in the Super 6 almost eight years ago.
As mentioned above, whoever emerges the victor on Friday night will face Liverpudlian, Callum Smith in the semi-finals and beyond that, a place in the final to face the winner of George Groves v Chris Eubank Jr. Full steam ahead for the World Boxing Super Series hype train.