Cleverly Says Krasniqi's Mind Games Will Not Work
Nathan Cleverly has vowed to punish Robin Krasniqi for naming him the 'Princess of Boxing' when they clash on Saturday.
Cleverly's fifth defence of his WBO light-heavyweight title against the Germany-based Kosovan headlines Frank Warren's 'Rule Britannia' show at Wembley Arena.
On two previous occasions the 26-years-olds were scheduled to meet only for the champion to withdraw, testing the patience of mandatory challenger Krasniqi to the limit.
At Thursday's head to head press conference in London, Krasniqi gave Cleverly a skirt emblazoned with his new title before it was hurled back at him by Dereck Chisora, who fights on the undercard.
"We did some research in the news about why the fights were postponed and it was 'stomach ache', 'stomach bug', 'stomach upset'," Krasniqi said.
"So here is a skirt for you Nathan Cleverly, the Princess of Boxing."
Cleverly refused to be drawn into any mind games, instead promising to make Krasniqi his 26th victim and take a step closer to securing a unification showdown with Bernard Hopkins.
"I'm going to give the skirt to my missus, it's got my name on it!" the unbeaten Welshman said.
"It was a bit of bravado and he was trying to get under my skin, but I didn't fall into his trap. I just kept smiling.
"It's welcome in boxing that kind of thing, we all like a bit of fun. I'll make him pay for it on fight night.
"I've got a pair of German stockings to give him at the weigh in tomorrow."
Krasniqi believes that Cleverly's desire to meet age-defying veteran Hopkins has resulted in a loss of focus for their clash, but the only world champion in Warren's stable claims otherwise.
The challenger arrives in London on the back of four successive knockout wins and the two defeats on his 41-fight record came in his first three bouts, but the level opposition has been well below Cleverly's standard.
"This is my hardest fight to date because he's a tough opponent who's desperate to rip my world title away from, but also because there's a lot at stake," Cleverly said.
"If I win this one then there are potentially big fights against Americans to be had. That's a lot to lose.
"Juergen Braehmer is the next mandatory but who knows if that will materialise because if a unification came in, that automatically takes preference over a mandatory.
"It should be a great fight, I love to fight and am ready for a war while Krasniqi is an assertive fighter who likes to be on the front foot.
"But I've prepared 100% both mentally and physically, so there's no way he can beat me. I'm going to take him out and move on to bigger and better things."