By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
NATHAN Cleverly has been going wild in LA this week in a bid to showcase his boxing talent.
Wales’ WBO world light- heavyweight champion has become a regular at the world-famous Wild Card gym of top trainer Freddie Roach.
And Roach has been so impressed that he has invited him to train in the gym whenever he wants.
Cleverly, 25, makes his fourth title defence in the early hours of Sunday against Shawn Hawk and loves the weather in this sunshine state of California.
He is determined to take up Roach’s offer and plans to return in the new year with his father and trainer Vince.
He said: “The Wild Card has been incredible – people are always sat on the side cheering the boxers on.
“I sparred with a very good undefeated cruiserweight, Lateef Kayode, and then with a light-heavyweight.
“Everybody in the gym stopped and watched. They were really enthralled and could see the skill level.
“It meant a lot that my style and technique was appreciated. Freddie was impressed.
“He said he liked my skill, speed and that I was a really talented fighter.
“That is nice because Freddie has worked with the best fighters in the world and that was a good compliment.
“Mickey Rourke, who will escort me into the ring along with Sir Tom Jones, turned up to watch the action so it was good to have those guys around.
“Freddie invited me back and I am definitely going to come back to start my next training camp in January.”
Roach has trained 24 world champions and Cleverly said: “When he spoke it was motivational and inspirational.
“The climate here is brilliant for training and I love Los Angeles.
“It is a great environment and everybody seems positive in this city.
“I am looking at having two weeks here in January with some top-class sparring.”
First of all comes late replacement Hawk, 28, and Cleverly said: “I have looked at two minutes of him and studied what his strengths and weaknesses are.
“As long as I bring my A game I will be happy.
“Then we’re gonna have a couple of nights here after the fight to let my hair down, see a few sights and see what LA is all about at night!”
CLEVERLY’S world title defence against Shawn Hawk is live and exclusive on the Home of Champions, BoxNation, on Sky Channel 437 and Virgin Channel 546. Join up now at www.boxnation.com