Cleverly Aims To Become a Star in The United States

By Jake Donovan

Nathan Cleverly hopes for history to repeat itself as he prepares for his stateside appearance this weekend.

The unbeaten Welshman faces Shawn Hawk on Saturday evening at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The bout airs live on Showtime Extreme as part of a lead-in card to a Showtime tripleheader topped by the super bantamweight showdown between Abner Mares and Anselmo Moreno.

For Cleverly, it’s just the second time he fights in the United States. His lone other trip came 4 ½ years ago, on the undercard of countryman Joe Calzaghe, who defeated Bernard Hopkins to win the light heavyweight crown after a lengthy stay as unbeaten super middleweight champ.

The final fight of Calzaghe’s career came seven months later – also in the United States and on the first Saturday after the U.S. Presidential election. Five days after Barack Obama became the first-ever African-American to win the presidency, Calzaghe won what became the final fight of his career in soundly outpointing Roy Jones Jr.

The stakes aren’t nearly as high for Cleverly (24-0, 11KO). The defending titlist is a heavy favorite to get past Hawk, a late replacement just named Monday morning after Ryan Coyne was forced to withdraw due to promotional contract issues with Don King.

Still, there exists the importance of looking good enough to keep building as a worldwide star. With that, Cleverly uses the historical parallels of his longtime friend and countryman heading into his latest adventure this weekend.

“Joe was a great fighter and it’s nice to be compared to such a good champion. But I’m out to be my own name and leave my own legacy, although I’m comfortable with the comparisons,” Cleverly said in a statement.  “It was tough sparring with Joe because he was the best in the world at his weight but it set me up a nice foundation.
“It’s starting to show in my style and the way I fight with fast hands. I helped Joe a lot because of my speed. I helped Joe for his fights with Mikkel Kessler and Bernard Hopkins. I probably sparred over 200 rounds with him.”

Such experience has helped Cleverly reached the alphabet title stage, though the stay near the top hasn’t been easy. The highlight of his alphabet title reign was a 12-round war with Tony Bellew last October, in which Cleverly edged out a majority decision.

Only one fight has since followed, a 12-round pasting of hapless American challenger Tommy Karpency this past February in his native Wales.
The aforementioned win over Bellew currently rates as the biggest fight of his still promising career. The 25-year old hopes that Saturday serves as the start of carving out his own name in the sport.

 “Every fighter wants to make their own name and in the next year or so I have got an opportunity to take on the best in the world and make a legacy of my own. I don’t set a time scale of how long I should stay in boxing. I just want to unify the division and once that is achieved then what more is there provided I have made enough money.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by grape drink on 11-07-2012

Nathan "Zsolt Erdei" Cleverley won't ever be a star in the US.

Comment by mikeMack on 11-07-2012

So sad the kid Cleverly is mismanaged and mis promoted by inept boobs.

Comment by Juof on 11-07-2012

Cleverly won't be a star in the us unfortunately

Comment by mikeMack on 11-07-2012

Beating on a bum is not a star maker.

Comment by giacomino on 11-06-2012

Yes, I am sure he will become a star in the US by beating an unknown, unranked club fighter. Great plan

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (8)
Top Headlines Berchelt To Make Another Voluntary Defense, Then Roman Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez: Positive or Negative? WBC Prez: I'm Not Protecting Canelo, But We Have To Be Fair! Arum Says ESPN Momentum Building, Big Plans Ahead in 2018 Danny O'Connor Gets Off The Floor, Decisions Steve Claggett Felix Verdejo Very Angry With Decision To Stop The Fight Video: Crawford's Coach Shreds Horn - Warns Spence, Thurman Kyril Relikh vs. Eduard Troyanovsky Showdown is Ordered Danny Roman vs. Moises Flores Must Happen By June, Says WBA Arum Wants Ramirez, Prograis to Take Interim Fights on Same Card Michael Conlan Hopes To Fight in Belfast on June Date Kovalev-Marcus Browne Deal Done for HBO Bout; Date Not Set Arum: Felix Verdejo Very Disappointing; It's a Lack of Discipline Felix Valera, Luis Lebron Grab Knockout Wins in Santo Domingo Sam Soliman, Wes Capper Fight To a Twelve Round Draw Ryuya Yamanaka Retains WBO Strap, Canizales Wins WBA Belt Photos: Gvozdyk Earns WBC Shot, Michael Conlan Excites Crowd Joe Joyce-Dereck Chisora Likely To Be Confirmed For Bellew-Haye Photos: Jose Ramirez Breaks Down Amir Imam For WBC Belt Roach: Linares Has Fight Left in Him; Might Be Too Old for Loma Photos: Antonio Lozada Drills, Stops Felix Verdejo in Shocker Photos: Joe Joyce With Crushing One-Punch KO of Donnie Palmer CompuBox: Jose Ramirez's Pressure, Power Shots Was Difference Robert Helenius Wins Split Decision Over Yury Bykhautsou Gvozdyk: I Want The Stevenson vs. Jack Winner in My Next Fight! Giovanni Cabrera Mioletti Shocks Ray Lampkin With KO in Two Lozada: I Knew I Would KO Felix Verdejo, I Went For it in Tenth Cristian Mijares Gets Stoppage Win Over Fernando Saucedo Jaime Munguia Knocks Out Johnny Navarrete in The Third Roach: Ramirez Won Every Round, 2 Judges Should Be Investigated! Don King: Imam Didn't Throw Enough, Ramirez Was Relentless Michael Conlan Demolishes David Berna in Two Rounds Jose Ramirez Lands Gold, Decisions Amir Imam For WBC Title Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Gvozdyk Wins Tough Decision Over Amar, in Line For WBC Shot Ramirez: I'm Ready To Fight Best, No Matter What Critics Think Yeison Cohen Passes Away After KO Loss Earlier This Month Antonio Lozada Drops, Stops Felix Verdejo in Tenth Round Joe Joyce Destroys Donnie Palmer With Big Knockout in One Christopher Diaz Wins by TKO, Rodriguez Suffers Hand Injury

Latest Active Forum Threads