Newly-crowned WBA light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer (42-2, 31 KO) has a stiff test on his hands this Saturday in his native Germany.
Braehemer will face former WBO cruiserweight title holder and world-class puncher, Enzo Maccarinelli (38-6, 30 KO).
At 32—an age when many fighters would be moving up in weight— Maccarinelli moved down to make 175 pounds. He is 6-1 since the switch and the only loss was a controversial stoppage defeat to Ovill McKenzie in 2012.
He later avenged the loss with an 11th-round TKO win in 2013.
The fight promises to be a knock-down-drag-out affair. The two men have a combined 61 KOs among them. If you like brawls, this one will probably be to your liking.
Braehmer does have respectable boxing skills, but Maccarinelli has a way of pulling fighters into slugfests.
Here's how you can watch this bout.
When: Saturday, April 5 at 2 p.m. ET
Where: Stadthalle, Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Live Stream: LiveSport
The Book on Braehmer
The German southpaw will have an entire arena behind him on Saturday. He was born and raised just miles away from where the fight will take place.
That might not be as big of an advantage as it usually is.
Because both men have a high KO percentage (Braehmer 70.45, Maccarinelli 68.18), even if the judges are influenced by the crowd, they may not get an opportunity to render their verdict.
Braehmer's main objective is going to be finding a way to negate his opponent's size advantage. At 5'11", he's giving up five inches to Maccarinelli. In an interview with Lem Satterfield of The Ring Magazine, Braehmer acknowledge the size disparity, but came off confident in his abilities:
Size doesn’t matter as the title will stay in Germany. Maccarinelli is a quality operator and a former world champion — a tough task to handle inside the ring. Still, I believe that I know what it takes to beat him.
He'll need to be swift on his toes to keep from having prolonged exchanges with a naturally bigger opponent.
The Book on Maccarinelli
It's often either feast or famine with Maccarinelli. He has captured 30 of his 38 wins by stoppage, but all six of his losses have come by TKO or KO.
Needless to say, he doesn't like to go to the scorecards.
Stamina has been an issue for him in previous fights. But since he trimmed down to 175 pounds, he has shown the ability to perform late and withstand the punches of his opponents better.
Does Braehmer have the power to hurt Maccarinelli? That is likely the key to the entire fight.
There is some question as to whether Maccarinelli can sting Braehmer as well. The latter has never even been down in his career. Bleacher Report's Kevin McRae expounds:
Maccarinelli's best shot in this fight is to try and check Braehmer's chin early and often. The German has never been stopped, or even down, as a professional, but it's not like he's been in there with many lethal punchers.
Add Maccarinelli's huge size advantage to his power, and we could be in for some drama if he's able to connect with a few solid punches.
We can speculate, but we won't know for sure until leather and chin collide.
Despite what Braehmer says, size can matter quite a bit. In this fight, it will be huge. Expect Maccarinelli to lean on the champion when inside and go to the body to exert his physical dominance.
When fighting on the outside, his sneaky up jab will allow him to win the battle from a distance.
While Braehmer's boxing skills are solid, he doesn't possess a big enough advantage in that category to cancel out his opponent's size and power.
Maccarinelli will win by eighth-round TKO to win his second world title.
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