Cleverly badly wants rematch with Kovalev
By Scott Gilfoid: Last month former WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (26-1, 12 KO’s) faced his first good opponent in his career in Sergey Kovalev (22-0-1, 20 KO’s) and Cleverly was then promptly stopped in the 4th round by the hard hitting Russian. Cleverly is now saying he wants to face Kovalev again in a rematch, and he wants it to be his next fight in early 2014 if Kovalev will agree to it.
I’m not sure if Cleverly should take this fight because he looked like a punching bag against Kovalev the entire short 4-round fight. About the best that Cleverly could do was throw jabs, and that wasn’t going to be enough to hold back a puncher like Kovalev.
So bad was the beating that the referee working the fight had to help Cleverly to his stool at the end of the round. I must admit I’ve never seen a referee help a fighter back to his corner before that fight. That was one of the strangest things I’ve seen before because usually when a fighter is too hurt to get back to his corner the fight is halted. I mean, the fighter isn’t helped back to his corner. I thought that was very, very weird to the extreme. Helping the guy to his corner? Why?
Cleverly said to RingTV “I want a rematch with Kovalev. I would love that fight and I would go to America for it. It’s not about the money; it’s about pride. We gave Kovalev a chance and I would hope that he would return the favor. I want that as my next fight.”
I would hope that someone from Cleverly’s management sits him down and talks some sense to him because he’s not ready to face Kovalev again; not now, not ever. Kovalev is the type of fighter that will always have Clevery’s number no matter how long you wait for this rematch.
Cleverly should be looking to fight the likes of Tommy Karpency, Shawn Hawk or Aleksy Kuziemski next. In other words, one of the soft opponents that Cleverly fought in the past to pad his record with. Cleverly can beat those kinds of guys every time out, but he can’t beat the likes of Kovalev, Bernard Hopkins, Adonis Stevenson, Chad Dawson and Tavoris Cloud. Those guys would all whip him badly.
Kovalev is at another level than Cleverly, and if they were to put him back in the ring with the Russian fighter, we’d see the same result but likely much faster the next time. I can’t see another referee half carrying Cleverly back to his corner when he’s too hurt to walk.