Cleverly-Karpency: Another soft defense for Cleverly – Very disappointing but so predictable!
By Scott Gilfoid: Earlier today it was announced that WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (23-0, 11 KO’s) would be making his next defense against #11 World Boxing Association ranked contender Tommy Karpency (21-2-1, 14 KO’s) in a fight on February 25th at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales Karpency hasn’t fought in over a year. Great opponent, eh? I think it’s fair to say Cleverly will win this one.
This is a pretty sad fight if you ask me. This will be Cleverly’s third defense of his WBO title and his worst opponent yet. Karpency may be ranked #11 by the WBA but that guy looks like mid-2nd tier fighter to me. I’m not surprised Cleverly is taking yet another soft opponent because all he’s doing is sticking with his pattern since he was given the title belt by the WBA after the previous champion Juergen Braehmer can up with an injury during training.
It’s been soft fights ever since for Cleverly, and that’s what I was afraid of when he was given the strap. I had strong feeling that we’d see a year or two of soft matchmaking while Cleverly milked his title for all it was worth. This reminds me of Ricky Burns, the WBO super featherweight champion, who fought weak opposition as far as the eye could see until he scat just when he was faced with his first life opponent in Adrien Broner.
I’m wondering what Cleverly would do if his mandatory suddenly was Chad Dawson. Somehow I think Dawson would get old waiting for that title shot while Cleverly continued to face guys like Karpency, #13 ranked Tony Bellew and Aleksy Kuziemski. What gets me is how in the world can Cleverly face a guy that’s not even ranked in the top 15 by the WBO? I mean I can’t see where Karpency is ranked at all in the top 15, can you? Wasn’t Bellew the voluntary defense?
At #13, I sure hope Bellew was the voluntary defense because if a guy ranked that low was Cleverly’s mandatory then the WBO has got some upside down rules they’re using. But seriously, I don’t understand how Cleverly can be facing an unranked contender by the WBO. Oh, I’m sure Karpency will be ranked near the top sooner or later by the WBO, but he sure as heck isn’t ranked now, so I don’t understand this title milking bout.
Here’s the weird part. The press release sent out today said that WBA light heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov was offered the February 25th fight against Cleverly but supposedly Shumenov couldn’t make it in time to take the fight. That’s sounds reasonable, right? Well, Don Chargin, the advisor for Shumenov, responded to that press release, saying that Shumenov was never contacted about fighting Cleverly in February. In fact, Shumenov and his management contacted Cleverly’s people for a fight they wanted to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, but no one from Cleverly’s side ever responded back to that offer. So what does that tell you? So who is the one telling the truth here? I think Shumenov would take a fight with Cleverly in a second. Who wouldn’t take that fight?
Cleverly is a flawed fighter, a guy that barely beat a bottom feeder in his last fight and now he’s tanking a fight against another weak opponent in Karpency. This Karpency guy was beaten by one of the fighters that Cleverly beat in Karo Murat. Karpency was soundly beaten by Murat by a lopsided 12 round decision in October 2010. Cleverly beat Murat in 2010 by a 10th round TKO. So why does Cleverly face the victim of a guy that he already beat? If this isn’t cherry picking I don’t know what is. Cleverly says he wants a unification bout against Shumenov and Bernard Hopkins.
Well, he had the Shumenov fight there if he wanted it, but evidently he must not have wanted it because Shumenov never got that offer. Instead, Cleverly is facing a guy that isn’t even ranked by the WBO and is a fringe contender at best. I see Karpency as a top 70 guy and no better than that. He looked awful against Murat and spent much of the time grabbing him in clinch after clinch. If I was to pick a nice safe opponent for a paper champion, then, yeah, Karpency is the guy you want to fight. Put that guy in with Cleverly and he’ll hold onto on his title no problem. I guess after seeing Cleverly go life and death with the bottom ranked Bellew, Cleverly’s management didn’t want to take any chances by putting him in with someone that wasn’t on life support. So this Karpency guy was dug up somewhere. That’s too funny but so utterly predictable. This is just like the Ricky Burns matchmaking.