By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
NATHAN CLEVERLY is a man on a mission – determined to make a name for himself in front of a demanding American TV audience.
The Welshman defends his WBO light-heavyweight title for the fourth time on Saturday and has vowed not to blow his big chance.
Cleverly, 25, said: “This is a statement from me to show that I’m going to the States and taking a fight in which I aim to show just how good I am.
“Basically, the decision to go to America to fight was to gain exposure in the States and potentially set-up the unification fights that I’m tracking down for early next year.
“It is an opportunity that I jumped at. It is a great opportunity for me to take my career to that next level.”
Cleverly’s original challenger Ryan Coyne was forced to pull out after a contractual dispute with promoter Don King.
The Caerphilly man will discover his new opponent today but has not been too worried about the situation, saying:
“This kind of thing has happened to me before so I tend to remain calm and focused on the fight, no matter who I will be facing in the ring.
“The main thing is that I am now defending my title in the States after making a few defences at home. I need to be here to showcase my talent.
“This shows that I’m prepared to travel and prepared to take risks and it shows that I’m trying to get those big fights.
“If I want to excel and push my career to that other level then this is an opportunity I had to take. I’m prepared to do it and prepared to take the risk.”
Promoter Frank Warren added: “The reason this fight has been taken is that we have tried very hard to get named opponents for Nathan but it hasn’t happened.
“Some have ducked him and others have not been able to fight because they couldn’t get American TV coverage, so we have decided to take the bull by the horns.
“He will get American TV coverage and he is on quite a big card.”