Cleverly can’t afford to look bad against Karpency
By Scott Gilfoid: WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (23-0, 11 KO’s) is busy trying to make a name for himself on the boxing world and wants to fight the biggest stars in game and become a star in his own right.
Unfortunately, Cleverly hasn’t facing star-like opposition and that’s slowing his progress in a big way in getting noticed by the casual boxing fan. Clevery’s trend of facing little know opposition will continue on February 25th against American Tommy Karpency (21-2-1, 14 KO’s) at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales, UK.
For Cleverly, this is yet another step backwards and it seems like with every fight, he takes another step back instead of forward. What he can from a Karpeny fight? Not much other than an opportunity to milk his World Boxing Organization title for a little while longer in a non-risk fight. Before you go blaming Cleverly for taking yet another soft fight, just look at what a close call Cleverly had when he skimmed the bottom of the WBO ranking for his last opponent #13 Tony Bellew.
Cleverly almost lost the fight and is incredibly lucky that he got the win. I thought the best he deserved in that fight was a draw and that’s it. He didn’t win that fight in my judgment. But I can totally understand why he’s being matched against Karpency, who isn’t even ranked in the top 15 by the WBO.
You know things are bad when a champion fights a guy that’s ranked #13 and then follows it up by fighting a guy that’s not even ranked in the top 15 by the WBO. So Cleverly has got to be carefully matched and hopefully he’ll win this fight without controversy because two out of Cleverly’s last three fights have been very, very close. Cleverly barely beat Nadjib Mohammedi by a 12 round decision in December 2010 in a toss-up fight, and then was badly staggered in his next fight by light hitting Aleksy Kuziemski last May.
Cleverly has got to beat the non-top 15 ranked WBO challenger and look good in doing so in order to make a case that he deserves a fight against 47-year-old WBC light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins. That’s only real big fight out there for Cleverly.
A fight against WBA light heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov isn’t a big fight and I’m not so certain how eager Cleverly is to take the fight. Cleverly isn’t mentioning IBF champion Tavoris Cloud for some reason. I wonder if that has anything to do with Cloud being a strong puncher with a high work rate? He’d be bad news for Cleverly.