Bernard Hopkins interested in Cleverly fight
By Scott Gilfoid: IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KO’s) appears to have some interest in facing WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (25-0, 12 KO’s) in a unification bout. How much interest in unclear because Hopkins merely answered some questions asked of him by a reporter when asked what he thought of Cleverly.
Hopkins said to the dailystar.co.uk “Cleverly brings a lot to the table himself. He can fight and has the looks. He knows how to promote. I’ve been watching him and he’s knocking on the door of superstardom.”
Did Hopkins say Cleverly is heading towards superstardom? I don’t agree with that at all. That’s not even close to the reality. Cleverly is still totally unknown in the United States and he’s not going to be a star even if he were to beat the soon to be 49-year-old Hopkins. That’s not going to make Cleverly a star, and I don’t think he’s a star in the UK. I mean, he can fight in front of large audiences in Wales but I seriously doubt he’s going to sell out the Wembley Arena this month in his fight with #1 WBO Robin Krasniqi on April 20th in London.
If Cleverly can’t even sell out the Wembley Arena, that tells me he’s not a superstar and he’s not likely to be anything close to that if he were to beat Hopkins. I don’t think Cleverly can even come close to beating a talent like Hopkins, even though he’s nearing 50. He’s so much better than Cleverly that it’s not even funny.
Hopkins’ promoters at Golden Boy are trying to work with the International Boxing Federation so that Hopkins can maneuver around his mandatory title defense against Karo Murat, but it remains to be seen whether they’ll be able to accomplish that. If not, then Cleverly is going to have a nice long wait for a shot at Hopkins. My guess is the fight won’t happen until 2014, if at all.
I personally think it’s a waste of time for Hopkins to fight Cleverly. Hopkins needs to try and fight the likes of Lucian Bute, Adonis Stevenson, Mikkel Kessler or Carl Froch. Those are much, much bigger fights and a lot more interesting to boxing fans than him facing an obscure champion like Cleverly. I would add Andre Ward’s name to the list but Hopkins and Ward are good friends and would never agree to fight each other in a million years.