By Frank Stea
Former four division world champion Roy Jones Jr. felt Nathan Cleverly made a huge mistake last Saturday night in Wales, when he made a decision to stand toe to toe with a heavy-handed puncher like Sergey Kovalev. After four rounds, Cleverly went down three times before the referee waved off the fight. Jones expected Cleverly to do what he does best, stay at a distance and box.
"Cleverly didn't take the route that I expected him to take. I thought Cleverly would be smarter and he would box. He's from the Joe Calzaghe school of boxing. I thought he would throw a lot of punches and he would box. I never thought he would come right out and fight toe to toe with the guy. If I knew he was going to do that, then I would know he wouldn't win, because you can't sit down and fight a puncher toe to toe," Jones told ATG Radio.
"He surprised me with the way he approached the fight. I know he's listening to the commentators and how he has to be an exciting fighter but you have to do what you do best. Bernard Hopkins is not exciting at all, but he wins. And people continue to pay money to see him because he wins. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do and take a page out of Floyd's book and you have to win. As long as you win, people will see you again.
You can't go out there and satisfy the fans with your performance - especially when you are not a top-notch pound for pound guy who can do it all. The top-notch guys can do it all, but if you can't do it all then you have to concentrate on what you do best. You have to stick with what you do to win."
Frank Stea is a host/producer of ATG Radio which plays every Monday & Wednesday night from 7-9pm PST on ATGRADIO.com. You can follow him on twitter at @frankstea