Cleverly: Warren can get me the Hopkins fight
By Scott Gilfoid: WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (25-0, 12 KO’s) believes his promoter Frank Warren will eventually be able to get him the fight he’s been craving for against 48-year-old IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KO’s) after Cleverly defends his title against #1 WBO Robin Krasniqi (39-2, 15 KO’s) next month on April 20th at the Wembley Arena, London, United Kingdom.
Cleverly said to the South Wales Argus “I want that fight [Hopkins] badly, and I believe it will happen…Frank Warren is the man to get that fight made…I know from experience he is the man who can get a fight made with Hopkins.”
Cleverly is referring to Joe Calzaghe’s fight with Hopkins in 2008. There’s a big difference in Calzaghe and Cleverly in terms of popularity in the UK and around the world. Cleverly isn’t well known in the United States, and there’s really no point in Hopkins facing him when the American boxing public won’t show any interest in this fight, and Hopkins won’t get any credit for beating Cleverly. That actually would be a huge waste of the little time that Hopkins has left in the sport.
If Hopkins wants to maximize the time left in boxing he needs to forget about fighting light heavyweights and try instead to face some of the top super middleweights.
It’s bad that Hopkins doesn’t want to fight Andre Ward, the WBA/WBC super middleweight champion, because that guy is the best in the division by far right now. However, it’s still a heck of a lot more interesting if Hopkins faces Mikkel Kessler, Lucian Bute or Carl Froch in his next fight than it would be to face an unknown like Cleverly.
Cleverly has been pretty softly matched during his career, and it’s pretty amazing the low quality of opponents he’s faced since he picked up the WBO strap. I can understand how he’d want to fight Hopkins, but why hasn’t Cleverly made an attempt to fight Chad Dawson?
I know Dawson was beaten by Ward after he drained down to fight him at 168, but Dawson is considered to be the best fighter in the light heavyweight division, so why isn’t Cleverly interested in fighting him?
Hopkins has to defend his IBF title against his mandatory challenger Karo Murat next because the IBF already gave former IBF champion Tavoris Cloud an exception to bypass Murat on condition that he or Hopkins face Murat next. The only way that Hopkins can get around that, aside from vacating the title, is to give Murat a step aside payment so that Hopkins can take the fight with Cleverly. Hopkins isn’t going to want to give his own money away in order to take the fight Cleverly. As such, Cleverly is going to have to wait a long time before Hopkins is available to fight.