By Shaun Brown
Plans are already afoot regarding the long-term future of WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly, 24-0 (11). Speaking to BoxingScene, his trainer and father Vince discussed what lies beyond his son’s current stint at 175lbs.
“Nathan wants to fight as a heavyweight and we’ve got the scope to do it,” he said. “We’ll eventually step up to cruiserweight once we’ve taken care of business at light heavyweight. He’s becoming a man now; he’s filling out and getting stronger all the time.”
The news may raise a few eyebrows especially when the 25-year old’s current knockout percentage is less than 50%.
“We’re working on a different style of punching that will lead to Nathan knocking more people out,” Cleverly Sr. responded.
A routine points victory over the much-maligned Tommy Karpency in February has been the only outing for Cleverly this year. A scheduled third defence of his title against Robin Krasniqi at the end of April was cancelled due to a virus. All thoughts now turn to later in the year when the undefeated Welshman could return in a unification bout or a contest with a modern day boxing legend.
“I would say that Nathan will be out in October,” admitted Vince. “We’ve been in talks with [Beibut] Shumenov and [Bernard] Hopkins despite the fact Hopkins doesn’t have a belt. Hopkins wants to fight Shumenov too and it seems like it’s a race to get to him first. At the moment we’re going with Shumenov and that’s who we’re preparing for.”
And what is the opinion of Shumenov from Vince?
“He’s a very strong type of fighter but when I watched him against [Gabriel] Campillo he got out boxed. Nathan would be too fast, too agile and throw too many shots. That’s the trouble with sparring for Nathan; he throws so many damn shots that his opponents just retreat and cover up!” he joked.
“It’s whatever Frank Warren [his promoter] thinks is best. Right now Nathan is in training and he’s looking better than ever.”