Cleverly and Karpency share mutual respect; Warren eyes a boxing return to the Royal Albert Hall headlined by Cleverly

At a time when the public image of boxing was being thoroughly dragged through the mud, following their WBO world light-heavyweight title fight Nathan Cleverly and Tommy Karpency reminded many that respect is the fundamental element of the sport.

In the post-fight press conference both were keen to praise their opponent, an all too often rarity in other sports. Cleverly opened, “I think Tommy showed tonight why he’s sparred world class fighters. He’s very tough, he knows his way around the ring and he’s very relaxed. He’s got good power and he’s a tough fighter.”

“So, it shows that at world level you can’t take anyone for granted and Tommy showed that tonight, he was very tough, if I take my eye off the game then someone like Tommy can punish me. It’s important that I kept my eye on the game and at this level it’s crucial.” he continued.

“He was probably the toughest to fight over the 12 round distance. There’s a lot of fighters that are tough over the first 6 rounds, into the championship rounds they wilt, they go and fold. Tommy showed that he’s a 12 round fighter and at world level that’s the difference.”

Even though he was the away fighter, Karpency earned the admiration of the Welsh fight fans with his refreshingly respectful approach pre and post fight The American was grateful and commented, “I’ve travelled a few different places and I’ve been absolutely well received here. I actually enjoyed walking to the ring to hear the Welsh crowd cheering for Nathan, it’s a great experience and I’d love to come back here and fight again.”

He added, “It’s a great fight community here, the fans are into the fight and they also seem to be knowledgeable as well. They have a great champion, I was highly impressed by Nathan as well, it’s been a great experience all around.”

Despite not being given a round by any of the 3 judges, Karpency wasn’t bitter and he backs his conqueror to compete with the absolute elite of the division.

Karpency said, “No fighter I have been in with could walk over Nathan. After being in the ring with him for 12 rounds I believe that he could fight with anybody in the world.”

“He’s in top condition and he keeps a high work rate, he takes a good shot, I hit him with some good shots, he sucked them up when a lot of my shots have put guys down.”

“I think he can compete with the likes of anybody in the world, I think he would make a good fight for Hopkins or Dawson right now. He’s ready for anyone”

In front of a sell-out crowd of 5,000, it was Cleverly’s first fight in Wales for 4 years. He last boxed in Wales on the undercard of Joe Calzaghe’s super-middleweight unification with Mikkel Kessler at the Millennium Stadium in front of 55,000 fans.

Thankful for the support he received on Saturday, Cleverly said, “Regardless of the opponent tonight, it was the homecoming! That was what it was about for me - returning home after 4 years since we’ve had world title boxing in Wales.”

“The timing was absolutely spot on tonight to return home as world champion, the fans had value for their money tonight; it went the full distance so well done to Tommy on that.”

“Tommy came up to me in the end and said I’m capable of beating any opponent in the world, that was a great compliment from my opponent.”

Warren eyes a boxing return to the Royal Albert Hall headlined by Cleverly

Promoter Frank Warren says that Nathan Cleverly could defending his WBO world light-heavyweight title for the 4th time as boxing returns to London’s legendary Royal Albert Hall on April 28th.

It would be the first time boxing has been held at the venue this century, the last bout there was between Julius Francis and Danny Williams for the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles in 1999.

Speaking at the post fight press conference following Cleverly’s shut-out victory over Tommy Karpency on his homecoming to Wales, Warren believes that Cleverly is the best man to take boxing back to the Royal Albert Hall.

He said, ““There has been no professional boxing there for many, many years, it is probably the best venue in the country, the most prestigious venue. You could not get a better name and a better representative for British boxing than Nathan, to showcase professional boxing back there but we’ll sort that out in 1 or 2 days.”

Adding, ““I don't know if Nathan will be ready for that but I would not mind him being the guy to take boxing back there.”

If Cleverly was to fight on April 28th, it would coincide with Bernard Hopkins’ rematch with Chad Dawson in defence of his WBC world light-heavyweight title and Warren hinted of a more direct link between Cleverly and the big name American’s.

“Nathan is coming on in leaps and bounds and all our attention will now of course turn to April 28 and the Bernard Hopkins V Chad Dawson fight, then we will be making a big decision about a fight in the summer.” commented Warren.

'Nathan needs big fights, he rises to them and he has a fabulous temperament.

On being asked about the possibility, Cleverly seems keen to stay busy. He said, “I’ll be fine for April, I’ll be good. I can keep active and it won’t hurt as well, a few more fights as world champion to gain experience as world champion is good. “

Although no opponent is certain, Cleverly knows what he wants. He said, “It’s important that as world champion we get good quality fights, a world ranked opponent to keep my progression going as world champion ready for the step up to the unification fights.”

Article posted on 28.02.2012

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