Nathan Cleverly eyes second world title against Juergen Braehmer

By Huw MorganBBC Wales Sport in Berlin
Nathan Cleverly
Nathan Cleverly's fight with Andrzej Fonfara almost led to an opportunity to face American great Andre Ward

Welsh boxer Nathan Cleverly says he is ready to be crowned world champion for a second time, five years after winning his first title.

The 29-year-old faces regular WBA light-heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer in Germany on Saturday.

If victorious, Cleverly would become the first Welshman to lose a world title and regain the honour at the same weight.

"I'm ready for chapter two - to become a two-time world champion," he said.

The showdown with Braehmer has been five years in the making, with the pair first scheduled to face each other in 2011 for the WBO title.

Braehmer withdrew from that contest with an eye injury and has since been regularly linked with a clash with Cleverly.

"We are finally here. I am finally facing Braehmer and I am ready for this," Cleverly told BBC Wales Sport.

"I have been waiting for a big fight. Andre Ward was mentioned, but finally Braehmer has stepped up to the plate."

Cleverly was subsequently awarded his first world title after winning an eliminator and defended the belt four times before losing it to Sergey Kovalev - who currently holds the super WBA light-heavyweight title - in 2013.

Following defeat to Kovalev in Cardiff, Cleverly reignited his rivalry with cruiserweight Tony Bellew, who he beat in 2011.

Cleverly moved up a division to fight the Liverpudlian for a second time three years later, but lost on points at the Echo Arena.

The Welshman has now returned to his favoured weight division, being bravely beaten by Andrzej Fonfara in Chicago in a contest that helped to rebuild his reputation, with many viewing it as a candidate for fight of the year.

'I'm more of a man, more mature and at a better stage in my career," Cleverly added.

"I have more man-strength, more boxing skills, more power - I am more ready for this fight now.

"I wouldn't have done anything differently, I've lived the dream and had a great journey.

"At some point [being world champion] has to come to the end and it did against Kovalev. No regrets. This is the next chapter."

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