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Warren Believes Cleverly Will Be Crowned Full Champion

Nathan Cleverly has been left in limbo after WBO light-heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer pulled out of Saturday's title defence against the Welshman in London.

Furious promoter Frank Warren expects Cleverly to be named champion after current holder Braehmer withdrew without warning, failing to turn up ahead of the 02 Arena clash in London and eventually citing a cut eye.

Warren now hopes the WBO strip Braehmer - who has defended his title just once since winning it in 2009 - and upgrade Cleverly from 'interim' to full champion status to allow him to defend the belt against a new opponent at the weekend.

However, they have been left anxiously awaiting news from the Puerto Rico-based body on Wednesday and may be unable to announce anything until Thursday's pre-fight press conference.

Warren only heard the news via internet reports from Germany on Wednesday morning and when Braehmer's team cancelled his hotel booking, and he said earlier: "What we believe will happen - we're just waiting for official confirmation - is that Nathan will be declared champion and we're looking for an opponent for him to defend against on Saturday.

"We hope we will have a name before the close of business today. We are talking to a few fighters who have got good records and are ranked. It's just a matter of trying to agree terms with one of them."

One possible opponent could be Commonwealth champion Tony Bellew. The outspoken Liverpudlian has vociferously called for a showdown with the more experienced Welshman and is ranked in the WBO's top 20.

Cleverly, 24, became interim champion in December and wanted to win the full title in the ring.

"I'm absolutely devastated, to be honest. This is the fight that I really wanted," he told Sky Sports News.

"I've been gunning for Juergen Braehmer for over a year now - he's got the world title, he was the champion. I badly wanted to get this guy in the ring and win the title in style.

"It's very unprofessional that he hasn't turned up. He's ducked out of the fight as far as I'm concerned.

"The proof is there now that he doesn't want to fight me."

Warren revealed he sent a driver to collect Braehmer from the airport yesterday but he did not turn up, claiming he had missed his plane and would arrive today instead.

However, he did not arrive this morning and Warren then heard from the internet that the fight was off.

"Eventually we were told by Universum (Braehmer's promoters) that he was out due to a cut eye," Warren said.

"We received a medical from him two days ago and he didn't have a cut eye two days ago, yet I think it was the German newspaper Bild who said it's a cut that is one and a half weeks old and has opened up again. Well, it's not in his medical.

"It's disgraceful, what's happened here.

"It really is the bad side of the sport. Something needs to be done about it and I'll obviously be complaining to the WBO but because of the time difference we have not managed to speak to anybody there."

Warren added: "What's even more disgusting is reading about it on the internet.

"At the moment all I want is the WBO to do what they have said they would do and strip this guy, because it's not the first time he's done this.

"He has a track record for it. He's a let-down.

"I couldn't give a s*** what happens to him after (he is stripped). He's nuts, the guy."

Indeed Braehmer's stock is already low, due to the 32-year-old having only defended his belt once since winning it in 2009 while also pulling out of a January unification fight with Beibut Shumenov.

"I knew he didn't want the fight with me so I was a bit anxious, I knew he was a temperamental character and had a feeling he wouldn't turn up," Cleverly said.

"I can't understand the mentality. He's taken the easy route and decided not to fight me, and it's so frustrating. He's let everyone down."

The 02 Arena card can at least still boast its de facto star billing, with the joint headline fight between British super-middleweight champion James DeGale and fierce rival George Groves arguably the bigger draw anyway.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by cleaner147 on 05-18-2011

[QUOTE=jnapoli85;10562963]I don't get it people are complaining cause they want manny to fight JMM at 135 n not 144. Clearley based off his performance against Floyd JMM cant move up past 130s and retain his speed and strength. Where as…

Comment by jnapoli85 on 05-18-2011

I don't get it people are complaining cause they want manny to fight JMM at 135 n not 144. Clearley based off his performance against Floyd JMM cant move up past 130s and retain his speed and strength. Where as…

Comment by cleaner147 on 05-18-2011

[QUOTE=Freedom.;10562624]German boxers are not East Europeans, you idiot.[/QUOTE] also actually most of the German fighters are East European, either theyre born in EE or their parents are EE. Most of the "German" fighters cant even speak German. there are a…

Comment by cleaner147 on 05-18-2011

[QUOTE=paulf;10562785]What is wrong with this guy? He fights like crazy to get the interim then full world title, which is an amazing feat, and then....? He just sits on it. Why would *anyone* who wins a world title not fight…

Comment by paulf on 05-18-2011

What is wrong with this guy? He fights like crazy to get the interim then full world title, which is an amazing feat, and then....? He just sits on it. Why would *anyone* who wins a world title not fight…

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