UK News: Cleverly Delays; Frank Warren; Chisora-Vitali


Welsh star Nathan Cleverly celebrates his 25th birthday tomorrow and has promised to party after he has blown-out Tommy Karpency next week at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.

Unbeaten Cleverly makes the third defence of his WBO World Light-Heavyweight title against the dangerous American challenger on Saturday 25th February - his first fight in Wales in over four years.

His Welsh ‘Homecoming’ is heading towards a 5,000 sell-out crowd and will be televised live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546).

Cleverly was presented with a boxing glove cake at the Motorpoint Arena today, but couldn’t resist having a pre-fight bite before taking on Karpency.

“My weight is spot on and my training is going great so I couldn’t help but have a slice of cake today, but all other partying and celebrating are on hold until after Saturday night and I’ve knocked out Karpency,”

“For my birthday meal tomorrow night I’m looking forward to tucking into a plate of boiled chicken and rice with a bit of veg and a protein shake to wash it down with!”

“Going through the sacrifices makes it all worthwhile in the end when I’m the winner so I’m just concentrating on making sure that I win in style,”

“I’ve just turned 25 and I’m delighted the way that my career has gone since I turned pro when I was only an 18-year-old welterweight and now I’m a world champion at light-heavyweight.”

Promoter Frank Warren is looking to stage a big outdoor extravaganza for the new Welsh boxing prince in the summer with Cardiff City’s ground a possible venue.

“The best years are still to come and I’ve not reached my peak yet, I’m really excited about the next few fights with the likes of Bernard Hopkins and Beibut Shumenov being talked about at Cardiff City’s ground so it’s crucial that I win next Saturday,”

He added, “I’d say this defence is more risky and dangerous than the Tony Bellew fight because Karpency can come in and cause an upset and then I’d be in left with nowhere to go.”

The fight can be seen live and exclusive on the new Undisputed Home of Boxing BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546).

***Cleverly v Karpency is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546) on Saturday 25th February from 8pm***


Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren has been instrumental in engineering some of the biggest giant killing acts in the history of British boxing. However, Warren insists that Finchley lump Dereck Chisora shall eclipse all before if he can de-throne defending WBC czar Vitali Klitschko at Munich’s Olympiahalle on Saturday night. The fight shall be screened live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546).

‘I’ve been involved in a lot of good things during my 30 odd years in boxing – Ricky Hatton stopping Kostya Tszyu, Joe Calzaghe schooling Jeff Lacy, Danny Williams smashing up Mike Tyson – but if Chisora can pull this off it’ll be the biggest upset of the lot,’ insisted Warren.

Previously, Warren navigated Herbie Hide and Frank Bruno to ‘The Richest Prize in Sport’ but both enjoyed home court and significantly less menacing opposition than the 6ft 71/2in Ukrainian-born champion who carries the sinister ring moniker ‘Dr Iron Fist’.

‘Herbie had everything in his favour and beat an old man in Tony Tucker and I always fancied Bruno would beat Oliver McCall because, though he had certain limitations, Frank was very fit and I’d seen how McCall had really struggled to cope with Larry Holmes’s jab when Larry was a very old man,’ claimed Warren.

‘Everything is against Dereck. Unfortunately, we’re on the pauper’s side of the fence in negotiations and, as Vitali is obliging us with a voluntary defence, we’ve had to agree to a lot of things that we’d not have accepted had we been in a mandatory position. But Dereck is adamant that he wants the big fights and we can’t deliver any bigger than this.

‘I know Dereck has been predicting an eighth round knockout but that’s a very big call. Both Klitschkos are phenomenal fighters, easily the best of their generation, and it’s a big ask to expect to receive a decision against them in Germany. I just hope the judges won’t be fazed as they were in Finland (where Chisora dropped a hugely contentious decision to local hope Robert Helenius in his last gig in early December). The public aren’t stupid. They know who’s won the fight so why cheat them?

With Klitschko unbeaten for almost nine years, and entering with the daunting slate of 40 knockout victories in 45 starts (just two losses), it promises to be uphill all the way. Nevertheless, the promoter has cause for quiet optimism for his 9-1 underdog.

He says: ‘What I do know is that Dereck goes into this fight 100% both physically and mentally.  In the shape he’s in, I guarantee he’d have taken care of the majority of the fighters who’ve taken Vitali into the later rounds previously.’

‘Vitali’s knocking on and I suspect he isn’t comfortable with a lot of speed and movement. If Dereck is able to emulate the workrate and desire that he showed against Robert Helenius, and can maintain the confidence to constantly apply pressure, he’ll give Vitali a lot to think about. I’ll certainly be having a good wager on him.’

The Bigger They Are… Klitschko v Chisora is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/ Virgin Ch. 546) on Saturday 18th February. Join at

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During his own ring career as an amateur super-heavyweight, Don Charles failed to advance beyond the London ABA divisional stage.

However, the native Nigerian coach, who served as a sparhand to the likes of Gary Mason, ‘Bonecrusher’ Smith and Danny Williams, finds himself commissioned with masterminding a winning strategy for when Dereck Chisora challenges formidable Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko for the WBC World Heavyweight title in Munich on Saturday night.

Before departing, the courteous, well spoken flower shop owner spoke with Glynn Evans about how he intends going about it.

The Bigger They Are… Klitschko v Chisora is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/ Virgin Ch. 546) on Saturday 18th February. Join at

How do you reflect upon Chisora’s abortive European title challenge to Robert Helenius in Helsinki last December?

I’ve not come across a single person who believes the Finn deserved the split decision he was given yet, on the strength of his performance that night, it’s Dereck who gets the world title shot.

Initially there was a massive despondency within the whole camp when Helenius received the verdict over Dereck. However, after the initial shock had gone, the disappointment ended because it was so clear cut who had really won. Like you, I’ve not heard of one neutral who believes that Helenius deserved the decision. The American tv crew had Dereck winning ten rounds to two. Dereck won the fight convincingly but the officials ‘gave’ it to Robert, a fighter who’s been breast fed a load of wins then failed miserably when the time came to step up against a live opponent.  It was outrageous. They must think everyone is stupid. Decisions like that risk killing the sport. There was absolutely nothing we could do to prevent that so they can call the result what they like.

The challenge to Klitschko comes just 11 weeks after Dereck’s gruelling fight with Helenius. Is that a concern? How has your preparation gone?

No, it’s no concern. Dereck took a week off after the Helenius fight to rest his body then began his preparatory work on December 17th. Over the holiday period, Dereck was extremely professional about what he ate. All told, we’ll have had a nine week program. Everything went really well and we’ve had no major injuries to manage.

He’s been sparring the obvious candidates who physically resemble Vitali, Pricey (Olympic bronze medallist David Price) and Tom Dallas, to name but two.

We always tailor make Dereck for whoever but you can get too hung up on tactics and techniques. At the end of the day, when you get rid of all the trimmings, Dereck and Vitali are going to have a fight. Together we’ll work very hard to get Dereck in the best possible condition to win that fight; do whatever it takes to emerge victorious within the rules.

Twice last year you prepared Dereck for world title challenges with Vitali’s brother, Wladimir, then the IBF and WBO champ only for the fights to fall out of bed at late notice. How do the brothers differ? What adjustments have you needed to make?

We’ll prepare for Vitali exactly as we did for Wladimir. Both are orthodox and they’re similar in height and style. They’re slightly different characters but we’ll need very little adjustment. Vitali certainly isn’t an easier option than Wladimir but he may prove easier for us. He’s certainly easier to hit. He has no defence and, unlike Wlad, comes to engage which should be brilliant for Dereck.

How do you account for Dereck’s surrender of his British and Commonwealth titles to Tyson Fury last July? It was easily his biggest test yet he arrived out of condition, roughly 18 pounds above his usual fighting weight.

The ability and desire have always been there but, heading up to the Tyson Fury fight, Dereck had something of a mental meltdown. Dereck insisted on going through with the fight but, as his coach, I should have been strong and pulled him out. I hold my hands up. It’s called experience. I’d never allow a fighter into the ring again in such a condition.

But who wouldn’t be deflated and depressed after the way he was treated by Wladimir, after putting his heart and soul into preparing, only for his big opportunity to be pulled away at a couple of days notice? Dereck was just brushed aside without any proper explanation. It resulted in Dereck being inactive for almost a year and Tyson Fury, a very talented young man, was able to take advantage of Dereck, at Dereck’s worst time.

It appeared as if Dereck struggled to come to terms with Fury’s height and reach. Klitschko has a similar frame. Is that a worry for you?

No, and I have to correct you. It’s true Dereck didn’t perform against Tyson Fury, who’s a similar frame to Vitali but, what people must realise is that he never struggled to get inside Tyson’s reach. He achieved that easily but simply lacked the energy to work Tyson’s body because he came in so overweight.

So how do you win in Germany on Saturday night?

Hit Vitali hard on the chin and knock him out!

Dereck really needs to stick to our gameplan and Dean (Powell, who will assist as a second) and myself will be in the corner to guide him. We’ve got Plans A,B , C, D right through to Plan Z. We’ve done everything humanely possible to triumph and only God can prevent us, if it isn’t His will. By the grace of God, I’ll be trainer of the world heavyweight champion on Sunday morning.

The Bigger They Are… Klitschko v Chisora is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/ Virgin Ch. 546) on Saturday 18th February. Join at

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