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Nathan Cleverly vs. Tommy Karpency on Saturday: Nathan will struggle in this one

Nathan CleverlyBy Scott Gilfoid: WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (23-0, 11 KO’s) hopes to shine for the first time in a long time this Saturday night when he faces little known American fringe contender Tommy Karpency (21-2-1, 14 KO’s) at the Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales, UK.

The 26-year-old Karpency was picked out as a token American, as the fight will be aired by EPIX in the United States. However, Americans have never heard of this guy, so it’s pretty much of a waste choice for Cleverly because this guy is only someone that only hardcore boxing fans have heard of in the U.S. With that said, this is supposed to be a fight where Cleverly can impress in front of his Welsh fans.

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s possible for Cleverly to dot that even with fringe contender Karpency being selected as beatable fodder. The problem is when you have a weak champion to begin with like Cleverly, then even the bottom feeders like Karpency and Tony Bellew are going to cause a lot of problems for Cleverly. I have Cleverly fighting to a draw in his last fight against #13 Bellew.

Clevery’s problem is he doesn’t punch very hard and has to throw a mess of shots in order to win his fights by decision. Since his bouts go the full 12, and he doesn’t very good defensive skills or power, he tends to get hit about as much as he hits his opponents. What this means is he barely wins fights against guys that he can’t stop. In two out of his last three fights, Cleverly has gone to the wall to scrap by with decisions over Bellew and Nadjib Mohammedi. That’s not a good sign because those guys aren’t the greatest fighters. On Saturday, I expect Karpency to give Cleverly just as many problems as Bellew and Mohammedi gave him. I think Cleverly will win but it’ll be one of those life and death fights where both guys look pretty even until the last coupe of rounds where Cleverly will squeak it out in another awful performance. They need to keep matching him against the Karpency types because if Cleverly faces his #1 challenger Dmitriy Sukhotsky, Cleverly will lose that fight and lose it badly. Sukhotsky is like better version of Cleverly – he does everything that Cleverly does but with better ability, better power and better talent.

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