Cleverly suffers injury, fight with Makuba off
By Scott Gilfoid: Former WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (26-1, 12 KO’s) has reportedly suffered an injury of some kind in training for his scheduled February 1st fight against knockout artist Illunga Makuba, and unfortunately the injury is bad enough to where Cleverly won’t be able to take the fight.
He was supposed to be fighting on the undercard of the Gennady Golovkin vs. Osumanu Adama card in Monte Carlo. Not being able to fight on the card has got to be a real crushing blow for recently knocked out Cleverly, as there’s talk that the fight card could be televised on HBO2 in the United States. Cleverly might have had a chance to be televised over there.
For Cleverly, this is the second time he’s suffered an injury in training that has caused a fight to be called off. He previously was set to fight cruiserweight Daniel Amman last November, but Cleverly went down with an injury and that wiped out the fight.
Cleverly lost his WBO 175 lb. title last August when he was stopped in the 4th round by unbeaten puncher Sergey Kovalev. It was a massacre in every sense of the word, and one got the sense in the first 30 seconds of the fight that Cleverly had no business being in the ring with a talent like Kovalev. It’s just too bad that Cleverly didn’t realize ahead of time that he wasn’t in Kovalev’s league and instead vacated his WBO strap in order to save him from the beating he took in the fight. There’s guys that Cleverly can beat, but Kovalev definitely isn’t one of them. You can probably add Adonis Stevenson’s name to that list.
With Cleverly suffering injuries left and right, you have to wonder whether his skinny rail-like body is trying to tell him something. Maybe he’s not cut out for the cruiserweight division. After all, if Cleverly wasn’t a puncher at 175, how on Earth do you expect him to compete with even more powerful fighters in the cruiserweight division? It could be that the training that Cleverly is doing with bigger fighters is wearing him down. The smart thing for Cleverly to do would be to move back down to the light heavyweight division and stay away from Stevenson and Kovalev.
Cleverly can easily target the two WBA champions Beibut Shumenov and Jurgen Braehmer, as both of them are considered paper champions in the eyes of many boxing fans. Cleverly could also wait out the soon to be 50-year-old IBF champion Bernard Hopkins. He can’t fight forever, and it’s only a matter of time before he retires for one reason or another. At 26, Cleverly could easily wait him out and still be young. I think Cleverly is making a huge mistake in wasting his time fighting in the cruiserweight division. It just seems like as knee-jerk reaction on his part to getting blasted out by Kovalev. Heck, Cleverly might as well have moved up to the heavyweight division, because his decision to move up to cruiserweight makes about as much sense. He gets knocked out by a Kovalev, and in response he moves up to the cruiserweight division, where he’ll be routinely be fighting guys with as much power as Kovalev. Does make sense to you?