UK Boxing: Nathan Cleverly; Kevin O'Hara; Darren Sutherland

Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly has been suffering sleepless nights ahead of his Friday night clash with Billy Boyle. At the 22-year-old champion admits that he may have bitten off more than he can chew as far as his latest assignment is concerned. However its not his showdown with Boyle that's worrying him, but a date with the university examiners on Wednesday..

Then Clev has got to tackle a paper on Numerical Solutions of Ellipitic Differential Equations as part of his maths degree course at Cardiff University.

And after completing an exam that most people would struggle to say, let alone pass, Cleverly says fighting Boyle will be easy.

"I've managed to get the balance right between studying and training, even if some of my exams have been giving me a headache recently," said Cleverly.

"Tomorrow's one is a toughie and I've been burning the midnight oil, but once I've got it out of the way I can relax.

"After trying to get my head around ellipitic differential equations, beating up Billy Boyle should be pretty straightforward.

"As long as I pass my exam I'll be happy, but anything less than a A* performance against Boyle and I'll feel like a failure."

Undefeated Cleverly takes on Boyle in front of the Sky Sports cameras at Bethnal Green's York Hall, and is promising an explosive performance against the "People's Poet" at the top of the bill.

"I've scored knockouts in my last two fights and I'm really begining to punch hard," said Cleverly.

"Friday night's referee will be coming up with a numerical solution of his own - counting up to 10 when I've put Boyle flat on his back!"


Belfast's Kevin O'Hara will now challenge Ricky Burns for the Commonwealth super-featherweight title in Glasgow on June 19.

Sweetpea is a replacement for Steve Foster Jnr, who has withdrawn from the Bellahouston Sports Centre show.

"It doesn't make any difference to me who I fight," said Burns, who makes the third defence of his title in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

"I was going to knock out Steve Foster Jnr, and now he's run away, I'll knock out Kevin O'Hara instead.

"I'm just glad that someone has got the balls to face me because Kevin Mitchell has been running like a big girl as well."

O'Hara, 27, has a 16-4 record and has never been stopped.

He was in action on Friday night in Belfast, winning on points over six rounds, and has won his last three fights.

The Ulsterman has fought in Glasgow before, narrowly losing to Willie Limond on points over 10 rounds in a challenge for the Celtic super-featherweight belt.

"I've been chasing an opportunity like this for a while," said the John Breen-trained fighter.

"Burns is a talented fighter but I've been watching him for years and I've worked out exactly how to beat him.

"I've not had a big fight for a couple of years, but this is my chance to gatecrash the domestic scene and I'm planning on taking it."

Tickets, priced at 30 and 50, are available from Frank Warren Box Office 01992 505 550, Ticket Scotland 0141 204 5151, Morrison Boxing 0141 554 7777.


DARREN SUTHERLAND bids to get one over bitter Olympic rival James DeGale at Fenton Manor Sports Complex, Stoke-on-Trent on May 29.

The Dubliner will face Georgian Vepkhia Tchilaia (9-8) who took Olympic gold medallist DeGale the distance on his professional debut in February.

Sutherland, 27, beat DeGale FOUR times as an amateur, but lost their biggest clash in the Olympic semi-finals last August.

An eventual clash between the cocky Londoner and Sutherland who had to be content with a bronze medal in Beijing will be one of the richest in boxing.

And Sutherland (2-0) is happy at the choice of 21-year-old Tchilaia as the opponent in a six round super-middleweight bout that will be televised live by Sky Sports.

His promoter Frank Maloney said: "DeGale's camp claimed he was taken the distance by Tchilaia because of his awkwardness.

"There isn't much they can say if Darren walks right through him like he did his first two professional rivals.

"I just hope DeGale keeps winning because two years down the line we will have a big, big fight against Sutherland in an arena or football stadium,

"Darren's trainer, Brian Lawrence believes he will be so far ahead of DeGale by then that the fight will not happen.

"Darren wanted a decent test, and if he can stop Tchilaia it really will give him a boost. This guy is a decent test and been preparing since last month."

Top of the talent crammed card is local hero Chris Edwards (12-13-3) who defends his British and Commonwealth flyweight title against Derby's Usman Ahmed (5-1-1)

Also on the top class bill, local hero Scott Lawton (26-4-1) faces Welshman Gary Buckland (15-1) in an eliminator for the British light-welterweight title.

An eliminator for the British super-featherweight title sees Dewsbury's Gary Sykes (11-0) square off with Manchester's big ticket seller Anthony Crolla (13-1), in what promise to be a fierce ten rounder.

Tickets (35 and 75) for the show which also features other top fighters from Stoke including Scott Miller and Alex Ibbs are on sale and available from and 0871 226 1508.

Article posted on 18.05.2009

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