Blogs & Opinion


The world awaits

Cleverly should improve even more and become a world champion

Johnny Nelson Posted 12th September 2010 view comments

Nathan Cleverly looks destined to go all the way.

This bill on Saturday night feature some of the best prospects we've got here in Britain but of all of them, you would think the young Welshman has all the attributes to really do something special.

Cleverly: can focus 100 per cent on is boxing now

Cleverly: can focus 100 per cent on is boxing now

For a start, the light-heavyweight division is not littered with top-notch fighters, although when you get to world class and are talking about world champions, it's safe to say they are better than anything he's come across so far.

As fighter he has got it all going for him. He's quiet and unassuming but is a clever, clever fighter. He doesn't strike me as a lazy fighter either; he always looks in good shape and prepares to the maximum.

He is still a couple of levels beneath world-title at the moment, but if he can come through Karo Murat, it is all there for him. And now his studies are finished I really to expect him to get even better. I studied while I was boxing and it did my head in. Physically it wasn't a problem, but I found it hard mentally; I was exhausted a lot of the time and found myself getting turned over in the gym.

Johnny Nelson
Quotes of the week

MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
WBO light-heavyweight eliminator
Nathan Cleverly v Karo Murat
Live on Sky Box Office HD
6pm, Saturday, September 18
Channel 752/Channel 743
To book call 08442 410888

He is still a couple of levels beneath world-title at the moment, but if he can come through Karo Murat, it is all there for him. And now his studies are finished I really to expect him to get even better. I studied while I was boxing and it did my head in. Physically it wasn't a problem, but I found it hard mentally; I was exhausted a lot of the time and found myself getting turned over in the gym.

Now Nathan can concentrate 100 per cent on his boxing, I expect him to be even sharper. He is such a good all-round fighter, safe but at the same time aggressive, that he really can improve a lot, lot more. Whether we will see it first fight up after his studies, only time well tell, but I would expect him win this comfortably.

Yes Murat is undefeated, but he is a super-middleweight, whereas Nathan is a bonafide light-heavy. That will give him an advantage straight away and I do think Nathan is sharp enough, quick-thinking enough to cope with the extra speed that the smaller man will have.

It might make for an awkward first half to the fight, but the extra strength and punch power should tell and by the second half of the fight - if it goes that far - you can expect Cleverly to come on strong, make that natural size advantage tell. And even if their are awkward moments, I would put him in the bracket of fighters that can think their way out of a tough situation, work out a way to win.

Intimidated

It's one thing having a gameplan but it's another being able to change it mid-fight, have a Plan B, C or D, to switch to. And as a champion, Nathan will have to get used to people coming after him, wanting to put him out of his stride, shake him up any which way they can.

Everyone knows what you do as well. They know what to expect to it's up to you to find something different, something they just didn't expect.

But although he has still only had 19 fights, you get the feeling this lad can do all that already. He is too smart to be intimidated by anyone, clever enough to think his way through fights and work out opponents there and then. Technically he has one or two little things to iron out, but that will come.

We will get to see the best young British prospects on Saturday night, but not all of them will go all the way and even fight for a world title. But with Nathan Cleverly, he already has the British, Commonwealth and European titles at the age of 24, so I fully expect him to go on to win a world title soon.

And looking at that light-heavyweight division, he might even be able to clean up as well.

back to top

Other Boxing Experts:

Latest Posts in Boxing:

Latest News RSS feeds

Khan: Floyd's frightened of me

Amir Khan has taunted Floyd Mayweather, warning: fight me in May or lose your credibility.

Frampton defence announced

Carl Frampton will defend his world title against Chris Avalos in Belfast on February 28, it has been confirmed.

Crolla's 'career under threat'

Anthony Crolla's career is in jeopardy following the attack that left him with a fractured skull, his trainer says.

Crolla suffers fractured skull

Manchester boxer Anthony Crolla will have surgery on Wednesday after an attack by burglars left him with multiple injuries.

Fury: Klitschko running scared

Tyson Fury says he is "a million per cent convinced" Wladimir Klitschko will vacate the WBO title rather than fight him.

Features

Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast: We hear from Amir Khan, Kell Brook and Eddie Hearn

Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast: We hear from Amir Khan, Kell Brook and Eddie Hearn

Welcome to the Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast, an online offering from skysports.com bringing you the latest news and views from the world of boxing.

Look back at the blog

Look back at the blog

Did you miss the Amir Khan win over Devon Alexander? Well have a look back at what happened round-by-round

Khan v Alexander: Ricky Hatton remembers the showbiz of his own Las Vegas fight nights

Khan v Alexander: Ricky Hatton remembers the showbiz of his own Las Vegas fight nights

Ricky Hatton has described fighting as the star attraction amid the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip as "a dream I’ll never wake from".