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Nathan Cleverly in better position for 'destiny' fight with Juergen Braehmer

Stu Forster/Getty Images

Nathan Cleverly insists he is better now than when he was first supposed to fight Juergen Braehmer five years ago.

The Welshman was due to challenge Braehmer (48-2, 35 KOs) for the WBO world light-heavyweight in 2011 but the German pulled out injured.

Cleverly (29-3, 15 KOs), 29, went on to become WBO champion and reigned until he was stopped by Russian Sergey Kovalev in 2013 and has since suffered two more defeats both on points to fellow Briton Tony Bellew (November 2014) and Andrezj Fonfara nearly a year ago.

But Cleverly believes it was destiny he would eventually catch up with WBA world light-heavyweight champion Braehmer, who is 38 four days after they fight in Germany on Saturday.

"It's been five years in the making this fight between myself and Braehmer and I just feel it's destiny now, it's been destined to happen," Cleverly said.

"It took the shine of my world title victory when he pulled out. I wanted to ripped the title of Braehmer that night. He was the champion and I wanted to win the belt from him, but the belt became vacant and I beat someone else for it.

"I was confident five years ago of defeating Braehmer, but I would say I'm more confident now.

"I feel that I have developed as a fighter and as a person. I'm a lot more wiser, a lot more mature mentally as a person. I was a very young man five years ago, now I'm more of a man physically.

"I just feel the time is right now and I feel in a better state going into this fight second time round.

"There comes a time when the older champion has to move aside to allow the younger lion to come through."

After losing to Kovalev, Cleverly stepped up to cruiserweight lose a rematch with Tony Bellew on points and suffered another points setback almost a year ago on a trip to the States to fight Andrzej Fonfara.

But Cleverly insists he can revive his career next weekend and make two-time world champion Braehmer, who began his professional career in 1999, look his age.

"I don't feel we've seen the best yet of what I can offer, and getting my hands on that belt will allow me to showcase what I can really do, and make the second phase of my career the best one yet," Cleverly said.

"It's my time now, Braehmer has had his time, great career, but it's my time now. I just believe that this is mine for the taking.

"When I became world champion, I was the only champion in the UK at the time and now there are 13 world champions. I've had my time away from the world title stage, and now it's time to get it back and join in the fun."