By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
IT’S not unusual to see Sir Tom Jones at ringside – but on Saturday he’ll be ducking under the ropes.
Fight fan Sir Tom will walk fellow Welshman Nathan Cleverly into the ring when he defends his WBO world light-heavyweight title against Shawn Hawk in Los Angeles.
Cleverly will also have screen star and former pro boxer Mickey Rourke escorting him into the ring.
Cleverly, 25, said: “Tom Jones is a legend in the singing industry, like Mickey is in the film world.
“I have grown up listening to Tom and, as a Welshman, I am immensely proud of what he has done.
“Now he is participating in this fight, it is absolutely brilliant for me.
“Tom and Mickey say they are both delighted to do it. I respect the appreciation they have for me as a fighter and a world champion.
They are both real Hollywood stars and for them to take time to ring and offer their help makes me feel like a million dollars.
“I have spoken with Mickey Rourke three times on the phone this week and he said it will be a privilege to walk into the ring with me.”
American Hawk is a late replacement for Ryan Coyne who pulled out after a contract dispute with his promoter Don King.
Cleverly said: “To be honest, I really don’t care who’s in the other corner, as long as I get to fight.”
Cleverly v Hawk is live and exclusive on the Home of Champions, BoxNation, on Sky Ch. 437 and Virgin Ch. 546. Join at www.boxnation.com