By Scott Gilfoid: WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (25-0, 12 KO’s) will be making a title defense of his World Boxing Organization strap on March 16th against his #1 WBO contender Robin Krasniqi (39-2, 15 KO’s) in one of the weakest divisions by far in boxing in a still to be determined venue in the UK.
Don’t get fooled by Krasniqi’s inflated #1 ranking or his inflated resume. This yet another easy title defense for Cleverly against a guy looks more like a 2nd tier fighter than a 1st fighter.
It’s really sad, but unfortunately this is kind of the norm for Cleverly in terms of him making title defenses. He’s been such a terribly disappointing champion during his year as the WBO 175 pound champ. I thought Jurgen Brahmer was mad, but Cleverly is by far much, much worse.
I’ve seen a few of the 25-year-old Krasniqi’s fights and I’ve not been impressed at all. He’s slow and mechanical in the way he fights. Not much power, and he’s so easy to hit. I still can’t believe the WBO has Krasniqi ranked #1. To me, Krasniqi looks like #80 contender. He’s just so average it’s not even funny.
Cleverly, 25, has defended his WBO strap four times since he picked it up last year and the only decent opponent during that time was #14 WBO Tony Bellow. Not surprising, Cleverly barely beat him by a 12 round majority decision.
Normally a fighter would want to face that opponent again to show boxing fans that he’s truly the better fighter, but instead we saw Cleverly move on and face little known American fighter Tommy Karpency in a nice little mismatch, and then we saw Clevelry in another mismatch, except this time against a 2nd tier opponent Shawn Hack.
The last two of Cleverly’s opponents have been Americans. I’m not sure if this move was done to try and build a fan base for Cleverly in the United States or what, but it’s not going to work. The reason why is because Americans don’t have a clue who Karpency or Hawk are, so it was a complete waste of time for Cleverly to fight them other than padding his record and getting a nice guaranteed win.
Cleverly wants to fight 48-year-old Bernard Hopkins, but there’s not much interest from Hopkins’ side because Cleverly is an unknown in the U.S, so there’s no real reason to fight him. Cleverly hasn’t been doing the things he’s needed to do in order to win fans by taking on well known opposition, so he’s kind of in a bind now that he finally wants to take on someone with a name. That’s the problem. When you face soft touches then you get ignored when you try to fight someone famous.