Forced To Pull Out Of Krasniqi Defence Due To “Near Burn Out,” Nathan Cleverly Hopes For B-Hop Fight In The Summer

By James Slater: As fans have probably read by now, unbeaten Nathan Cleverly, the reigning WBO light-heavyweight champ, had to pull out of his upcoming, April 28th defence against Robin Krasniqi. Officially a virus forced the 25-year-old out of the London date, yet “Clev’s” father and trainer Vince has told The Argus that his son was “close to burnt out,” having worked so hard and had virtually no rest at all.

Only seven weeks ago, Cleverly went 12-rounds when winning a wide decision over Tommy Karpency, and the pressure put on his body in attempting to fight again and go through another rigorous training camp so soon was just too much.

“Nathan is on the verge of being burned out,” Vince told The South Wales Argus. “We simply had to pull the plug on this fight, under doctor’s orders because he’s barely had the energy to train. He took this fight on only seven week’s notice and he was confident he’d be in brilliant shape. But unfortunately his body has retaliated against him. If the doctor hadn’t told him to pull out I would have, otherwise he would have lost his title because he could barely train.”

The risk of burn out is quite common in boxing. A young fighter, desperate to fight as often and as hard as he can, sometimes needs to be ordered to take a long break. It seems this is what has happened in the case of the talented Welshman. And, not to be unkind to Krasniqi, but what would a win really have done for Cleverly anyway? Everyone knew he was going to win as soon as the voluntary defence was announced (the WBO finally agreeing to sanction the match).

It now looks as though Krasniqi will miss out altogether on a shot at Cleverly, as Vince told The Argus that the plan/hope now is for his son to fight living legend Bernard Hopkins in the summer. With the doctor telling Cleverly to take a “complete rest for a fortnight” - there simply won’t be time for Cleverly to accommodate Krasniqi before the Hopkins fight in the summer. And Hopkins, who faces Chad Dawson in a rematch the same night as Cleverly was to have fought, has said he is interested in facing the young Welshman.

“We probably need Bernard to beat Chad Dawson now for it to be sanctioned over a mandatory defence with the WBO,” Vince said. “The promoters Golden Boy want to make the fight so we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed and leave it to Frank [Warren].”

IF B-Hop can get past Dawson this time around (and it could be a big if - with a number of good judges feeling “Bad” Chad has Hopkins’ number), it could be that Nathan Cleverly makes his next WBO title defence against the oldest world champion in the history of boxing. Massive props would go to Warren if he were to successfully lure Hopkins to Wales.

Article posted on 18.04.2012

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