By Phil D. Jay
Fresh from his fiery sparring sessions with British super-middleweight champion James “Chunky” DeGale, world light-heavyweight title challenger Nathan Cleverly believes that the 2008 Olympic champion is heading straight for the top of the fight game.
The 24 year-old challenges Juergen Braehmer for the WBO 175lb title on the same bill as DeGale’s British and Commonwealth 168lb grudge match with George Groves on May 21st at the O2 Arena and says he has learned a lot from sparring the Londoner.
“It’s been good stuff [the sparring], real classy stuff,” Cleverly told Sky Sports Ringside show.
“Obviously I am going for the world title and James is destined for bigger things, so it’s good sparring. The type of sparring that if you make a mistake, your going to get caught.
“There were moments when we opened up, you learn how to take a punch and then moments where you stay long a jab, it’s a learning process.”
The Welshman, who is undefeated in 21 contests, meets the tough German titleholder next month and although his is confident of becoming world champion, is not overlooking the southpaw, who has been a world champion since December 2009.
“He’s quality. He’s a very dangerous fighter, a KO specialist. He’s got good pedigree and is former world amateur champion, which says it all.
“He also beat Ricky Hatton and Carl Froch in the amateurs, so he’s a real dangerous fighter, a proper world champion.”
Nathan Cleverly v Juergen Braehmer and James DeGale v George Groves are live from the O2 Arena in London on Saturday 21st May on Sky Box Office from 8pm.
Phil D. Jay covers the boxing scene for worldboxingnews.net