By Scott Gilfoid: WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (23-0, 11 KO’s) is supposedly going to be stepping it up a couple levels after his mismatch with Tommy Karpency (21-2-1, 14 KO’s) next month on February 25th and start facing some good fighters for a change.
From what I’m hearing is that the 24-year-old Cleverly is hoping to bag 47-year-old WBC light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins next for a fight that Cleverly hopes will be taking place in Wales. Cleverly’s already been soundly rejected by Carl Froch, who’s only interested in fighting well known guys rather than an unknown guy like Cleverly who is doing it wrong in terms of building his popularity with his soft matchmaking.
Karpency isn’t someone that will make it easy for Cleverly to look good against. If you’ve seen any of Karpency’s fights, and I’ve had the displeasure of seeing several of them, he usually tries to punch a little at first, but then begins to fall in for clinch after clinch.
We saw this in fights against Karo Murat, Chuck Mussachio and Erik Howard. If he’s got a weak opponent in front of him, Karpency can take them out fairly quickly. Feed a C level guy and Karpency is a terror. But you put in with a B level fighter like Murat and Cleverly, and you’ll see Karpency stall out.
This isn’t going to be the kind of fight that will raise Cleverly’s stature among boxing fans. He needs someone better than this that can at least test him a little. I don’t what the disconnect is with Cleverly’s soft matchmaking. I mean he was put in with a number #13 fighter in his last bout against Tony Bellew and now he’s being matched against Karpency, who isn’t even ranked at all by the WBO. What happened to champions fighting top five opposition? Is that not good enough for Cleverly or what? So he’s going to go from a non-top 15 opponent into a unification bout with Hopkins or Beibut Shumenov? If I was those guys I would completely ignore Cleverly until he starts facing top five opponents and proving he can beat them instead of being matched against the bottom of the division over and over again.