By Alexey Sukachev and Dmitry Mikhalchuk
With just a couple of days removed from the upcoming defense of his WBO I/C title against dangerous late replacement Doudou N’Gumbu (30-4, 11 KOs), the WBO/IBF #3 and WBA #4 ranked light heavyweight Vyacheslav Uzelkov (28-2, 17 KOs) is still in search of his mental equilibrium.
The reason for Uzelkov’s anxiety however, lies in his past, not in his future. The one-time world title challenger (Uzelkov dropped a wide UD to then-reigning WBA champion Beibut Shimenov in 2010) is still very livid of his abortive title challenge of the WBO current titlist Nathan Cleverly. Cleverly was first scheduled to clash against the Ukrainian on October 27 (2012) in Wales. For five weeks Uzelkov had been literally dying to reach his tip-top shape only to know that his bout with Cleverly was re-scheduled for November 11 in the States. It wasn’t his final disappointment: two days after Cleverly officially withdrew from the bout and chose to defend against Shawn Hawk instead.
“I was in the second half of my extremely intensive training camp in Vinnitsa when I got the information that the guy (Cleverly) had changed his mind. I still cannot understand the reasons for such a shameful decision”, commented Uzelkov. “There were no injuries and no reasons for me to withdraw or to be replaced. But then they just changed the opponent with no understandable reasons”.
“Nate and Warren are cowards! The only reason they had cancelled was that I had been so supremely confident and so well-prepared that I would have knocked Nate cold for good. I would have smashed him and painted the canvas with his blood. I’m not kidding – I was in the best shape of my life. I wouldn’t have relied on judges – I would have knocked him out”, continues Uzelkov.
“Their meanness in unprecedented. They didn’t even inform my team about the last-minute change of opponent. We had to find out from international media!” flares Uzelkov up. “I don’t think it’s all Nate. I consider his promoter to be the same kind of rascal. They are really shameful cravens altogether! But it is Nate who will pay dearly for all these inconsistencies if we are to meet in future”.
“I’m still very angery. I was so well-prepared for Nate, that I wouldn’t have given him a single chance for a survival. It was the camp of my life. I was getting ready for the fight with the help of Cleverly’s former victim Danny McIntosh who had shown me a great share of tricks to upset the Welsh nerd”, fires the Ukrainian. “Instead of me they fought an unknown guy (Hawk), total garbage. The guy wasn’t even on the state’s level; he is very far removed from the title contention. And their excuses were so terribly idiotic. I have never heard such pitiful excuses. They chose him because he was American! In the weight class of Hopkins, Dawson and Cloud, those frauds chose the opponent of poorest assets ever possible. That fight was barely legal”.
“I have recently found an article in the Web, which states Cleverly vowed his fidelity to Frank Warren. Why am I not surprised?” questions Uzelkov. “The Welsh nerd will have a problem finding such a careful tutor as Warren – that’s why!”
“I’m still capable of winning the title. And I shall do it! I don’t care if I get a chance being a voluntary or a mandatory challenger. If Cleverly will be my opponent he is well advised to be ready – he will be battered heavily but for a short span of time”, concluded the Ukrainian.
Says Olexander Krasyuk, the CEO of K2 Ukraine: “Nathan Cleverly has a mandatory defense against WBO #1 German Robin Krasniqi. If successful against him, he will probably defend against WBO #2 Juergen Braehmer – another German fighter. Slava is ranked #3 by the WBO so Cleverly will not run from us forever. And if he does, we shall concentrate on the IBF path. The belt has recently been won by indomitable legend Bernard Hopkins. IBF #2 is Karo Murat and we are ranked #3. That means a lot. If successful against N’Gumbu, Uzelkov will most probably fight for the title till the end of the year”.