Cleverly defeats Karpency in mismatch fight

By Michael Collins: In a truly ugly mismatch that arguably had no business ever being put together in the first place, WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (24-0, 11 KO’s) had an easy time beating American Tommy Karpency (21-3-1, 14 KO’s) by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. The final judges’ scores were 120-108, 120-108 and 120-108.

It’s unclear why Cleverly had the need to be matched against yet another lower ranked fighter like the #11 WBO Karpency, as Cleverly’s last fight was against #13 WBO ranked Tony Bellew. Whatever the case, the WBO allowed and it made for a really boring one-sided fight that was never interesting even for a moment. Cleverly bounced around the ring all night long throwing over 1000 punches and showboating often against a guy that had no chance the moment the fight was signed. There’s much to say about the fight. Karpency mostly covered up while Cleverly bounced and threw body and head shots from every angle imaginable. Karpency couldn’t do much because he didn’t have hand speed, power or a good work rate to begin with, and the fight ended up looking like a sparring session.

What the fight did show was that Cleverly has little power and has a bad habit of bouncing around the ring like an amateur. Usually the bouncing is frowned upon by boxing couches and they quickly change a fighter’s style to rid them of it, but Cleverly is still stuck in this amateur style. It’s easy to see why he’s gotten with it because the best fighter that Cleverly has faced during his career is #13 Tony Bellew and Cleverly looked good enough to get a draw in that fight but more than that. He got the win but sure looked like a draw or a loss to me. I came away from watching the fight thinking that Cleverly has decent skills, but is more of a bottom guy than a legitimate champion in my eyes. He did have the WBA give him the title rather than having to earn it after the previous champion Jurgen Braehmer failed to make it to a fight with him after suffering an injury.

Cleverly’s promoter is hoping to match him against 47-year-old WBC light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins this summer in the UK if Hopkins can get by Chad Dawson on April 28th. I wouldn’t count on Hopkins winning that fight, and even if he does, I don’t see him being willing to fight in the UK. But it’s neither here nor there because the chance of Hopkins beating Dawson on April 14th is remote at best. I think the chances are better than Hopkins hits the deck with some kind of fight ending injury against Dawson than I do see him winning the fight.

Cleverly looks good against opposition like Karpency, but god did he look awful against Tony Bellew and Nadjib Mohammedi. Rather than trying to get fight against the likes of Hopkins, Cleverly should really start defending his title against the top five contenders. I'd like to see him crawl before he walks. Going from bottom level guys to Hopkins is kind of like putting the card before the horse. It doesn't make sense and has the look of cash out all over it.


Enzo Maccarinelli RTD 2 Ciaran Healy

Former WBO cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli (34-5, 27 KO’s) completely obliterated light punching journeyman Ciaran Healy (13-18-1, 4 KO’s) by a 2nd round stoppage. This wasn’t supposed to be a competitive fight for Maccarinelli because he’s trying to get his career back together after suffering a bunch of knockouts against the likes of David Haye, Denis Lebedev, Ola Afolabi and Alexander Frenkel. Not a bad list of punchers to be sure, but the way that Maccarinelli was knocked out by them had a lot of boxing writers worried about his future. As such, Maccarinelli was fed another soft opponent in his two-fight come back and Healy proved to be the perfect opponent for Maccarinelli. He put Healy down twice in the 2nd round from painful body shots. Healy got up both times but the fight was eventually halted not long after the second knockdown when Healy’s corner threw in the towel.

Maccarinelli put Healy down with a big left to the body at the start of the second round. Healy got back up but was put down again with a right to the body this time. The fight ended shortly after that.

It was a good win for Maccarinelli, who will now face British cruiserweight champion Shane McPhilbin next month on March 24th. Fighting for domestic level straps must be a real comedown for Maccarinelli after having been the WBO cruiserweight champion in the past, but he’s got to fix the problems in his game so he doesn’t get knocked out so much. As far as I can tell, Maccarinelli is still fighting far too much on the inside for my tastes. He needs to use the fodder opposition he’s being fed to learn how to fight on the outside rather than jumping on them and taking them all out in a round or two with body shots. I don’t see how this is benefiting Maccarinelli any. The point is the guy needs to learn how to fight tall instead of fighting on the inside like a shorter fighter. At 6’4” with a weak chin, Maccarinelli can’t afford to be crowding his opponents. He’ll get away with it against the soft opposition he’s facing now, but as good as he faces someone that has any kind of power, we’ll likely see Maccarinelli face down on the canvas again wondering what hit him. My question isn’t the guy using these weak opponents to learn how fight tall? It’s too bad because once he’s thrown in with a big puncher again, he’ll be kicking himself afterwards for not having attempted to learn how to fight on the outside. What a pity.


Frankie Gavin stops Kevin McIntyre

Undefeated welterweight contender Frankie Gavin (12-0, 9 KO’s) looked good in beating Kevin McIntyre (30-9, 9 KO’s) by a 3rd round TKO. Gavin ended the show with a nice right hand body shot in the 3rd. This fight was essentially target practice for Gavin, as he was able to throw at will without much danger of anything coming back. Like in all his fights, Gavin showed little in the way of defensive skills, average power and slow hand speed; nothing really special.

A good win but not exactly against deadly competition for the #9 WBO welterweight contender. Gavin at least looked better than he did in his last fight against Curtis Woodhouse. Gavin won that fight but man did he struggle. I think that’s Gavin’s upper level. I had Woodhouse winning that fight.


Other action on the card:

Liam Williams PTS 4 Tommy Tolan
Liam Smith PTS 8 Paul Morby

Article posted on 26.02.2012

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