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Braehmer tops Bolonti to keep WBA belt

SCHWERIN, Germany (AP) - Juergen Braehmer of Germany unanimously outpointed Roberto Feliciano Bolonti of Argentina to retain his WBA light heavyweight belt on Saturday.

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The judges scored it 118-109, 119-108, 119-108 in favor of the 35-year-old Braehmer, a former WBO champion, who was making his second defense of the title he won by beating American Marcus Oliveira in December.

Braehmer was in control throughout the bout with the exception of the fifth round. He recovered straight away in the next, and the sight of Bolonti's bloody nose in the seventh gave the defending champ further encouragement.

''He was the expected difficult opponent, who was hard to hit. He was a tough dog. We wanted to show opponents like this to Schwerin,'' said Braehmer, who was fighting in his hometown in northern Germany.

Bolonti threw everything into the final round when it was clear he needed a knockout, but Braehmer proved too strong.

He improved to 44-2 (32 KOs) while Bolonti, also 35, dropped to 35-3 (24 KOs).

''I knew it would be difficult. We tried everything. We upped the intensity but it was hard,'' Bolonti said. ''He's the deserved world champion.''

Braehmer now turns his attention to a possible bout with American Bernard Hopkins, who holds the WBA's ''super'' light heavyweight belt as well as the IBF's.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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