By Scott Gilfoid: WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (23-0, 11 KO’s) didn’t look at all good in his last fight against Tony Bellew and looked about as bad in his fight before that against Aleksy Kuziemski. So this time, Cleverly is facing an arguably even weaker opponent in Tommy Karpency (21-2-1, 14 KO’s) on February 25th, at the Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales.
This time Cleverly is certain he’ll look good. It’s just too bad that he had to be matched up against a guy that’s not even ranked in the top 15 by the World Boxing Organization for him to shine. Cleverly got a win over Bellew last time out in October and few boxing fans saw Cleverly winning that fight. A lot of boxing fans, this writer included, saw it as a draw.
Cleverly is still moving forward rather than taking a big risk and fighting the #13 WBO ranked Bellew again and possibly losing this time. So instead of a dangerous fighter or someone at least ranked in the top five, Karpency has been found for Cleverly and that’s who he’ll be facing in front of his home fans in Wales.
I don’t know how Cleverly can do this. I mean when you fight a bottom #13 opponent like Bellew, aren’t you supposed to fight your mandatory next? How is it Cleverly is now able to fight a guy like Karpency who isn’t even ranked in the top 15 by the WBO? If they’re going to suddenly rank Karpency near the top, they’re really lagging because he’s still not even ranked in the top 15 by the WBO. I see him at #10 by the WBA, but that’s not the WBO.
Cleverly told walesonline.co.uk “It’s a fight I should and will win because I’ll break him down and look good doing it.”
You think? Yeah, I think Cleverly will look good but look at who he had to fight for that to happen. If a champion has to dig up non-top 15 ranked contenders just to look good then boxing is in pretty bad shape.
Cleverly expects to fight 47-year-old Bernard Hopkins or Beibut Shumenov in the summer in Wales. Let me be the first to say this: It’s not going to happen, at least not in Wales. Those guys aren’t going to go to Wales and risk losing by a hometown decision. I’m sure they would love to fight Cleverly because they see what I see him in him – a vulnerable fighter that just went life and death with a fighter ranked #13. But Hopkins and Shumenov sure as heck won’t go to Wales and make it easy for Cleverly to win a controversial decision. That isn’t going to happen even if they get a good payday by agreeing to fight Cleverly there.