Boxing: Nathan Cleverly admits to putting title on line
Wednesday 14 August 2013
Nathan Cleverly admits he is facing the most important fight of his career on Saturday, and taking a gamble with his career. But though his opponent is the bookies' favourite to win, it is someone Cleverly chose himself.
Sergey Kovalev has secured 19 of his 21 professional wins via knockout, with 18 of those coming within three rounds. But despite the Russian's formidable power, Cleverly will put his WBO light-heavyweight world title and 26-0 unbeaten record on the line in Cardiff in an attempt to break into what promoter Frank Warren describes as "some real big-money fights".
Saturday's showdown is a considerable step up from Cleverly's last title defence in the Welsh capital – a convincing unanimous points decision victory over Tommy Karpency. But Warren and Cleverly believe it is a risk worth taking with a contract with American cable network HBO on offer should Cleverly win.
"It is the most important fight of my career," Cleverly admitted, "potentially the best fight of my career as well. Potentially the best opponent I have faced, so this is a tremendous fight. We like to fight on the front foot and it is going to be explosive."
Warren added: "It was Nathan who wanted this fight, he suggested it to me in a meeting we had a few months ago. Having been involved with Nathan from day one, this is a fight which can project him into some real big-money fights."
Cleverly's father and trainer Vince has no doubt his son will emerge victorious at the Motorpoint Arena. "Whatever the Russian tank brings for Nathan, I think Nathan has the artillery to blow up that tank," he said. "It won't be easy but I only see one winner. Nathan has trained like the challenger, not the champion and he definitely wants to win this fight to bring on Bernard Hopkins."
Latest in Sport
Daniel Sturridge injury: Alongside Luis Suarez, how the Liverpool SAS may FAIL to become the most lethal partnership in Premier League history
Barcelona v Real Madrid: Copa del Rey final 2014 match preview
Arsenal: Four remaining fixtures - will they beat Everton to the final Champions League place?
Diego Costa transfer to Chelsea impossible to stop, admits Diego Simeone
Daniel Sturridge injury latest: Liverpool striker has 'small strain' and will be given chance to prove fitness for Norwich game
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for auction...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 3 Naked yoga: the bare truth - it's already big in the US, and has now landed here
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Scientists warn we've hit 'peak beard': The more people grow facial hair, the less attractive it is
David Cameron: 'Jesus invented the Big Society – I'm just continuing God's work'
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
£26K-30k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...
£25K-28k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...
£50000 - £65000 Per Annum potentially flexible for the right candidate: Clearw...
£38000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have experience of ...