By Gerhardt Foath: In a battle of aging 175lb fighters, WBO light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer (42-2, 31 KO’s) is getting ready for his title defense against 33-year-old former WBO cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli (39-6, 30 KO’s) at the Stadthalle, Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.
Braehmer picked up the vacant WBA World light heavyweight title last December with a 12 round unanimous decision win over Marcus Oliveira. This was the idea way for Braehmer to win a world title, because his chances of beating the other top fighters in the division were pretty much zero. Braehmer is a good Euro level fighter, but he’d stand no chance against light heavyweights like Bernard Hopkins, Sergey Kovalev, Adonis Stevenson and probably even Beibut Shumenov.
Braehmer lucked out due to the World Boxing Association being one of the sanctioning bodies that has two world champions in many of their weight divisions. This gave Braehmer a chance to win a world title that he otherwise wouldn’t have won given his limited talent and advanced age. There was a time years ago where Braehmer was one of the top 3 light heavyweights in the division, but that was a long time ago. The division has gotten better in the past couple of years, and Braehmer has aged.
Maccarinelli has reinvented his career at 175 since abandoning the cruiserweight division in 2012. Maccarinelli’s cruiserweight career fell apart after knockout losses to Denis Lebedev, Alexander Frenkel, David Haye and Ola Afolabi. He figured out that he would be a better fighter at light heavyweight than he was against the bigger punchers at cruiserweight.
It’s still debatable if Maccarinelli is any better off at 175 than he was in the other division, because he’s still yet to face his first quality light heavyweight since moving up in weight. Maccarinelli has been facing non-world caliber opposition at 175, so he’s probably still has the same chin problem that he had in the cruiserweight division. The only difference is he’s facing weak opposition now.
Maccarinelli should win this fight if his chin doesn’t betray him. He’s got the better power and size of the two, and he’s a dangerous puncher. The only way Maccarinelli loses if we see a controversial decision. The fight is in Germany, so it’s quite possible that Maccarinelli could end up losing by a robbery.