Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Nathan Cleverly Says Mandatory Next, Then Big Fights

Nathan Cleverly hopes the first American defence of his WBO light-heavyweight title will end a quiet year on a high and help set up some stellar fights in 2013.

Protecting an unblemished 24-fight record, Cleverly boxes as champion for the fourth time on Saturday night when he takes on Shaun Hawk at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Hawk suffered a second career lost last time out and the South Dakota man was only named as a late replacement for Ryan Coyne earlier this week after contractual issues with his promoter Don King put paid to the world-title ambitions of Cleverly's intended opponent.

The fraught build-up has been symptomatic of a sometimes frustrating 18 months for Cleverly since his first defence of the world crown in May last year against Poland's Aleksy Kuziemski, a hastily-arranged opponent after Juergen Braehmer had his belt awarded to the Welshman following an injury withdrawal and domestic rival Tony Bellew failed to make the weight at short notice.

Cleverly and Bellew did meet in a thrilling and punishing grudge-match in Liverpool five months later, when the 25-year-old dug deep to be awarded a majority decision win.

Since then a routine February homecoming against limited American Tommy Karpency in Cardiff has been Cleverly's only action, with a virus scuppering a proposed spring showdown with now mandatory challenger Robin Krasniqi.

"I've achieved my dream but since then I've been a little bit inactive," Cleverly said. "I haven't had too many fights, this is my first in nine months.

"Ultimately there's been no real rush, I'm still 25 years of age.

"We'll get this defence done, hopefully successfully, and then we can move on to the next one which is my mandatory challenger before we go for the real big elite fights.

"This is part of a plan, in coming to America, gaining experience and gaining US exposure. By doing that we'll be set up to be in big fights in 2013."

The intention is for an impressive showing against Hawk to line up unification match-ups with Chad Dawson, Tavoris Cloud or Beibut Shumenov, who hold the WBC, IBF and WBA light-heavyweight titles respectively, and Cleverly has certainly set about turning heads since arriving in LA for the final stages of his preparations.

Promoter and former six-weight world champion Oscar De La Hoya has touted him as a future star and spoken of a possible fight with ring legend Bernard Hopkins.

Another keen admirer is Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, who revealed a desire to work with Cleverly after the Cefn Fforest fighter impressed during sparring sessions at his world-renowned Wild Card Gym.

"It's a really busy gym, loads of fighters are in there," Cleverly said. "I got involved and really enjoyed it. It was really good stuff, sparring with a few American fighters that are part of the Wild Card Gym.

"One was an undefeated cruiserweight and on Tuesday I sparred a light-heavyweight. Again, he was an unbeaten fighter and you gain from quality sparring."

Friends in high places seem to be a recurring theme this week and a touch of Hollywood glitz will be added when Cleverly is accompanied to the ring by actor and one-time boxer Mickey Rourke, along with one of his own country's most famous exports.

"I've been speaking to Mickey a lot, we've met up and he's been to the gym," Cleverly added.

"He spoke to Tom Jones and they both want to get involved and walk with me to the boxing ring.

"It's a great honour for me to have guys of that calibre wanting to be part of the show on Saturday night. It's a real privilege for me."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Video: McGregor, Malignaggi Nearly Erupt at T-Mobile Arena McGregor, Malignaggi in Heated Confrontation at Grand Arrivals Video: Mayweather, McGregor Camps Near Scuffle at T-Mobile Cleverly Feels Win Over Badou Jack Will Secure Andre Ward Shot Mayweather Believes McGregor is Struggling To Make Weight Carl Frampton is Urged To Sign Promotional With Eddie Hearn Crawford-Indongo Telecast Averaged 965,000 Viewers on ESPN Former Sparring Partner Admits McGregor Was Not Hard To Hit Eubank Jr: Mayweather Will Be More Aggressive, Will Go For KO Shane McGuigan Removes Carl Frampton From Twitter Bio Mayweather-McGregor News; Burnett-Zhanat Zhakiyanov, More TMT's DeJuan Blake: McGregor is Awkward, Mayweather is Ready Paul Hyland vs Stephen Ormond on October 21 in Belfast Jeff Horn: I'd Fight Mayweather Like Maidana Did - But Consistent! Cotto Unfazed By All the Attention Paid to Mayweather-McGregor NSAC Head: McGregor is Younger, Stronger, Longer, Big Puncher Terence Crawford-Julius Indongo: Post-Undisputed Report Card McGregor's Trainer: No Doubt Mayweather Gets Knocked Out! Estrada Training Hard, Expects High Drama With Carlos Cuadras Euro News: Virgilijus Stapuliones, Frenois vs. Dib, More Ellerbe: Mayweather Brought Boxing Back, People Talking Again! Malignaggi: The Boxing World is Laughing at McGregor! Roy Jones Jr. and BeIN Sports Ink Television Deal For Events Harmonito Dela Torre Furious Over Saul Rodriguez Withdrawal McGregor KO Would Resonate Far Beyond Weekend in Vegas De La Hoya: Canelo Took Mayweather Fight Too Soon, Better for It Cleverly Expects Mayweather To Stop McGregor Inside of Six Retirement Crosses Canelo's Mind, But Not Ready to Walk Away McGregor Motivated By Dismissive Boxing Fans, Vows to 'Educate' Samuel Vargas Edges Ali Funeka Over Ten Rounds Mayweather-McGregor: Camps Warned To Avoid Confrontations Photos: Payano vs. Santiago, Herring vs. Miller - Official Weights IBF Abolishes Second Weigh-in For Unification Bouts Arum Discusses Crawford's Future, Facing Pacquiao-Horn Winner Joshua: Mayweather Will Beat McGregor in Landslide, Can't Compete Marcos Hernandez Camp Notes For Kevin Newman Bout Arum Gives Latest on Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux Fight Jeff Horn: I Can Beat Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor! Haye Feels Mayweather Has Zero Fear of McGregor Landing Shots Anthony Joshua: I’d Try MMA, But I Would Probably Get Beaten
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement