Nathan Cleverly bids to carve out legacy in Cardiff
WORLD boxing champion Nathan Cleverly is looking to carve out his ring legacy in 2012, starting in Cardiff.
Cleverly’s promoter Frank Warren has started talks with WBA champion Beibut Shumenov over a possible unification showdown, but the Welshman insists a clash with one of the division’s “big boys” will not happen until the end of 2012.
The Cefn Fforest fighter ultimately wants to take on either Beibut Shumenov or WBC title rivals Bernard Hopkins or Chad Dawson.
“I need to step up progressively to fight the big names,” said Cleverly.
“I’m only 24 so I’ve got time on my side.
“Hopefully, I’ll get to the big unification fights towards the end of 2012 against the likes of Hopkins and Dawson, that’s my goal.
“They are massive names in the division.”
But Cleverly admitted Hopkins had eyes on another Welshman, the retired Joe Calzaghe.
Veteran Hopkins has warned that he will only fight Cleverly if promoter Warren can get tempt Calzaghe out of retirement three years after he quit the ring.
Hopkins wants a rematch with Cleverly’s countryman after the American great lost on a split decision to Calzaghe in their Las Vegas clash in April 2008.
“He desperately wants a rematch with Joe,” admitted Cleverly.
“But I think Joe is happy with his legacy and content in retirement.”
First of all, Cleverly must focus on beating 24-year-old Andrzej Fonfara, who has lost just two of 22 professional fights.
“It will be great to fight on home turf again and I’m really looking forward to it,” said the unbeaten Cleverly.
“It will be a special feeling having a homecoming as a world champion.”
by Gareth Griffiths, South Wales Echo
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