By Danny Winterbottom: Jürgen Braehmer’s persistent jab and cleaner punching, aided by a ninth round point deduction for Eduard Gutknecht, saw him claim the European light heavyweight title by way of a unanimous point’s decision inside the Max Schmelling Halle in Berlin, Germany on Saturday Feb 2 and set up a potential clash with WBO world champion Nathan Cleverly.
Judge Leszek Jankowiak saw the contest 116-111, Manuel Oliver Palomo of Spain carded a too close 114-113 whilst Mikael Hook of Sweden had Braehmer winning comfortably 117-110. My card read 115-112 for the new champion. Britain’s Terry O’Connor officiated.
Gutknecht (12st 5lbs) was making the fourth defence of his title but found Braehmer’s southpaw jab a troublesome weapon from the off. The balding challenger was up on his toes as he continually made good use of his right hand then mixed in straight back hand lefts down the pipe.
Braehmer (12st 5lbs) doubled up his jab as the champion struggled to get his punches off and showed his frustration as he aimed a stray elbow at the face of the 34-year-old.
Gutknecht, who lost a world title challenge to Robert Stieglitz in 2010 at 168lbs, had some success when he managed to trap Braehmer on the ropes but his shots were crude and lacked the necessary snap to bother the veteran.
When Braehmer commanded ring centre and was allowed to jab, pivot and slot a left down the middle of Gutknecht’s guard he looked a different class to the 30-year-old champion but as the bout progressed tiredness began to effect his movement and Gutknecht began to make the contest closer.
All the classy punches were coming from the fists of the challenger however as a right hook, straight left and a right to the body brought a nod of appreciation from the champion. Gutknecht rallied with a burst of cuffing hooks as the pair exchanged punches.
A ninth round point deduction for Gutknecht (for pushing Braehmer to the floor after several warnings) gave him a mountain to climb to retain his title and despite Braehmer tiring badly late in the contest, and a very messy final round, it was clear the 34-year-old had done enough to wrest the title from his younger opponent. The contest was also a final eliminator for Nathan Cleverly’s WBO world title and Braehmer, who pulled out of a scheduled fight with the Welshman when he was world champion, could finally meet Nathan in the ring later this year.
Braehmer improves to 39-2 (30) and Gutknecht falls to 24-2 (9)
All the results from Berlin
vacant IBF Inter-Continental light heavyweight title Robert Woge w tko 11 Hakim Zoulikha
European light heavyweight title Juergen Braehmer w pts 12 Eduard Gutknecht
light heavyweight Dustin Dirks w tko 3 Christian Cruz
super middleweight Dominik Britsch w pts 8 Luis Crespo