By Lem Satterfield
Promoter Dan Goossen, who works with WBA light heavyweight champion and former Olympian, Beibut Shumenov, was shocked at the unexpected withdrawal of WBO champ Juergen Braehmer from this Saturday's scheduled unification in Kazakhstan. Braehmer (36-2, 29 knockouts) cited an illness, and said he was unable to move forward with the scheduled bout against Shumenov (10-1, 6 KOs).
In an apparently conflicting Jan. 3 report by BoxingScene.com, Braehmer and his head trainer, Michael Timm, speaking in Shymkent, Kazakhstan, appear to be ready to thwart Shumenov in the second defense of his crown.
"I am totally focused. My preparation for this fight was very good, and I'm in the best shape of my life," said Braehmer, who is riding a five-fight winning streak that includes four stoppages. "I am eager for the fight for the two belts and also happy to be in another country and meet other people. This is something new for me."
Apparently, however, that was not the case. Goossen arrived in the country on Tuesday, after four connecting flights that totaled 28 hours of travel time from Los Angeles. He said nobody from Braehmer's camp had informed them of the fighter's illness. Goossen arrived at the airport as Braehmer was leaving.
"No one in Braehmer's camp had alerted anyone in Kazakhstan that Braehmer was ill and that he was packing up and leaving," said Goossen. "We had our crew over at his hotel that morning to be of assistance with anything that he may have needed," said Goossen. "The next thing that we saw was that they were packing their car to go to the airport, which we didn't know at the time. But he took off for the airport."
"At that time, I was just coming from my flight, and, almost simultaneously, with Braehmer getting to the airport out here in Shymkent, I arrived," said Goossen. "I saw all of our crew at the airport, and they informed me that Braehmer was there and that he refused to stay here in Shymkent and that he wanted to go back to Germany."
Before Braehmer was able to fly off, Goossen confronted the boxer and members of his team. Goossen unsuccessfully attempted to convince Braehmer to stay in order to be examined by a local doctor.
"I did speak to Braehmer directly, but he refused to see a doctor. I implored him to see the boxing federation doctor as it is referred to in our agreement that if he is not feeling well or is complaining about an illness, that one of the requirements is to see the Kazahkstan Boxing Federation doctor as he would in any federation -- Nevada, or wherever the fight may be," said Goossen.
"I told him that I would bring the doctor to his room, but he refused to stay. The trainer sort of put his head into his hands and seemed lost. I told Braehmer, 'If you walk out like this, then you're putting a lot of people in jeopardy because this isn't the way that you handle things. You at least have to have a doctor check him out. I told him this right at the airport. Someone in the Shuemnov camp called him, 'A thief in the night.'"
Lem Satterfield is the boxing editor at AOL FanHouse and the news editor at BoxingScene.com. To read more from Lem Satterfield, go to AOL FanHouse by Clicking Here .