Nathan Cleverly targets 'elite' light-heavyweight rivals after outpointing Robin Krasniqi
Nathan Cleverly has set his sights on unifying the light-heavyweight division after the latest defence of his WBO belt.
Last Updated: 21/04/13 1:48pm
Saturday's one-sided points win over Robin Krasniqi at Wembley Arena was the Welshman's fourth defence since winning a full world title - and all four have come against opponents widely regarded as inferior.
The target now for Cleverly is to clean up his weight class - starting with WBA champion Beibut Shumenov and moving on to dream opponent Bernard Hopkins, who holds the IBF title.
"This is the year to stay active and push for the big fights. It's very important for me to get back in the ring as soon as possible," he said.
"I need to stay active and keep the rust away and try to unify the light-heavyweight division - 2013 could be the year to do that.
"I want fights that test me and that's the elite fights now - Hopkins and those guys. They're technically brilliant and will tell me if I'm an elite level fighter or just a world champion. I'm looking forward to finding out.
"Fighting back in Wales is a possibility at the back end of 2013, but next will be a fight in America in July."
Shumenov is the likely opponent for that one, although the WBO's mandatory challenger is Jurgen Brahmer, the former champ who pulled out of a fight with Cleverly two years ago.