By Scott Gilfoid: WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (24-0, 11 KO’s) will be defending his title on October 27th against Ukraine’s Vyacheslav Uzelkov (27-2, 16 KO’s) at the Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales, UK. This should be one of Cleverly’s easier fights, as 33-year-old Uzelkov has already exposed in losses to Beibut Shumenov and Eduard Gutknecht in the past two years.
#9 WBO, Uzelkov basically has little more than a puncher’s chance of winning this fight at beat. He’s got decent power, but he doesn’t throw too many combinations. It’s either a big right hand or nothing from Uzelkov. His stamina is also a problem area for him, as we saw in his fights agaisnt Gutknecht and Shumenov where he gassed out after six rounds and was pretty much working on fumes the rest of the fight.
I see this fight a step down from Tony Bellew for Cleverly, because Bellew is a better puncher than Uzelkov with better stamina and workrate. I’m not excited about this fight at all. I’d much rather see Cleverly fight someone like Jurgen Brahmer, Cornelius White, Isaac Chilemba, or Gutknecht. To be honest, there’s not a lot to choose from in the top 15 for the WBO. The competition is god awful and at this rate, Cleverly could hold onto his World Boxing Organization 175 pound title for many years without ever facing anyone that is a real threat to him.
Cleverly is incredibly beatable, but the competition is so awful. There’s only like four or five halfway decent fighters in the entire division, and that makes it easy for a flawed guy like Cleverly to hold down one of the world title straps in this watered down and weak division.
As far as the fight goes, Uzelkov has a puncher’s chance just like Bellew did. If he can land one of his big right hands right on Cleverly’s grill, he could knock him out. Most of Uzelkov’s knockouts have come early on, so if he’s going to get to Cleverly it will have to be early before he gasses out.