It was the very definition of an ugly fight headlining the bill last evening at Jahnsportforum in Neubrandenburg, Germany but when the paint finished drying after 12 rounds, Juergen Braehmer walked out of the arena as the new WBA light heavyweight champion.
The 35 year old southpaw made it 11 wins in a row since 2008 when he failed to collect the WBA strap from Hugo Hernan Garay. Braehmer came into the contest last night as the reigning European champion and was a WBO beltholder in 2009-2010.
Facing up against the Schwerin lefty was America's Marcus Oliveira, who entered the ring an undefeated fighter but had been knocking out less than world class opposition and had yet to tangle with a top class opponent.
That lack of quality experience was evident from round one as Oliveira had no idea what to do with the awkward Braehmer. The Kansas resident simply stayed on the outside with a high guard and didn't throw much of anything for the first two rounds.
Braehmer was equally as guilty in the early going but by the third the action heated up as Oliveira began to wing bombs, which were telegraphed well in advance so Braehmer had little difficulty avoiding them.
The middle rounds were slightly more eventful as Braehmer began to fight back but anytime the fighters got close, a clinch resulted. Generally it was Braehmer who was grabbing hold but Oliveira wasn't jabbing and didn't seem overly eager to escape the German's clutches.
After a bit, Braehmer started to hit and then hold, displaying one of the best John Ruiz impressions over the last few years. Oliveira would, on occasion, throw a few looping punches, some of which landed, before he was grabbed but the cagey Braehmer was rarely caught flush.
This pattern continued with the addition of more exchanges as Braehmer stepped up his work rate but the clinches and wrestling continued. Oliveira was down in the tenth from a lowish body shot.
Finally the 12th round came and while Braehmer was shaken up a bit, he saw out the trouble and was awarded a 117-110, 117-110 and 115-113 unanimous points decision.
Braehmer now stands at 42-2 (31), Oliveira drops to 25-1-1 (20).
One of the top heavyweights in the world was also on the bill as Bulgaria's Kubrat Pulev, 19-0 (10), defended his IBF International belt when America's Joey Abell, 29-7 (28), didn't come put for the fifth.
Abell was heavily overmatched but armed with crushing punch power, had a few good moments in the first. Pulev got the measure of the American and produced a knockdown in the third.
Abell returned the favor in the fourth but was then downed three times later that round via body shots.