The World Boxing Organisation have now officially approved Robin Krasniqi as the challenger for Nathan’s Cleverly’s World Light-Heavyweight title on Saturday 28th April at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
After some uncertainty about Krasniqi last week when he was announced as Cleverly’s opponent, promoter Frank Warren and the WBO Championship Committee have resolved the situation and the Welshman will now proceed with the fourth defence of his title with the winner to face the mandatory challenger in 120 days.
It’s set to be a landmark occasion with world championship boxing returning to the iconic venue for the first time in over a decade.
Unbeaten Cleverly, 25, is hard in training for the WBO number four ranked challenger from the Germany based Serbian who has never been stopped in 39 fights.
He will also have the added incentive to put on a good performance with a potential fight against American great Bernard Hopkins in the works between Warren and Richard Schaefer.
Hopkins, boxing’s oldest ever world champion, will face Chad Dawson in a rematch for the WBC World Light-Heavyweight title in Atlantic City on the same night as Cleverly v Krasniqi, both fights will be televised LIVE and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546) in one big night of boxing.
Cleverly said, “I’m glad it’s all sorted out and I can now fully focus on Krasniqi for my title defence. I wasn’t worried about it as I’ve faced and dealt with bigger problems in the past when I faced Aleksy Kuziemski at 48 hours notice when Juergen Braehmer pulled out so this was no trouble in comparison. This is a hard test for me, he’s had 39 fights with only two early points losses and hasn’t been stopped before so I’m preparing for the hard twelve rounds, unless he goes early. I need to win this fight in style as I want Hopkins in Wales.”
Warren added, “Krasniqi is a tough fight for Cleverly and it’s easy to look ahead to a potential Hopkins fight, but Cleverly has to look good and do the business against Krasniqi first. Hopkins is in action against Dawson on the same night and Richard and I have had discussions about the winners, which hopefully should be Hopkins and Cleverly, fighting each other next.”
The show will also feature the Final Eliminator for the British Light-Middleweight title between Chislehurst’s Sam Webb and Manchester’s Matthew Hall; unbeaten Hatfield middleweight Billy Joe Saunders in a ten round contest; fast-rising super-middleweight Frank Buglioni - one of the hottest young talents around - who’s 3-0 with two first round stoppages; 2008 Olympian Bradley Saunders from Darlington follows up his successful pro-debut win with a six round contest at light-welterweight; welterweight prospect Bradley Skeete who’s unbeaten in six fights; plus top welterweights Dean Byrne and Freddie Turner.