It has now been officially confirmed and announced that Chicago based Pole Andrzej Fonfara will indeed be facing former WBO 175lb champion Nathan Cleverly at the “Windy City’s” UIC Pavillion on October 16th, in a Premier Boxing Champions on Spike broadcast.
At the first official presser to announce the fight yesterday (Weds), Fonfara, who battered Julio Cesar Chavez Jr into quitting on his stool in April, is insistent that while he isn’t looking past Cleverly, he is more keen to right past wrongs – wrongs that he feels include his UD loss to lineal WBC 175lb champ Adonis Stevenson from May of 2014.
“I’m excited to return to my hometown of Chicago on this big fight night against a world-class fighter like Nathan Cleverly,” Fonfara said to assembled media.
“This will be a tough fight for both of us. Cleverly is a solid fighter, and it’s no fluke that he was a world champion and that he defended his belt so many times. Our fighting styles guarantee that everyone can expect fireworks on Oct. 16th.”
While respectful of his Welsh opponent, one senses that Fonfara has picked up on the popular belief Cleverly is now a shadow of the fighter he once was – especially psychologically – since his brutal defeat at the hands of Russian banger Sergey Kovalev, that occurred in his Cardiff backyard two years ago and saw him surrender his title in brutal fashion.
“I want this fight (against Cleverly) to be a quick stop on my way to a rematch with Adonis Stevenson,” Fonfara added in respect of his Canadian rival, who boxes fringe contender and former Cleverly and Fonfara victim Tommy Karpency in September.
Fonfara battled back from two early knockdowns against Stevenson to stay in (though ultimately lose) the fight, showing the kind of grit, mettle and toughness that one suspects is going to give Cleverly all sorts of bother if he isn’t 100% on point in October.
A win here will solidify the Pole’s case against Stevenson, a fellow Al Haymon fighter, although Cleverly, who is back a 175 after an ill-fated trip to 200lbs, predictably plans on upsetting the apple-cart.
“Fonfara is a good fighter. He’s tall, has power and has moved up through the levels in his career. I am looking forward to coming over to Chicago, and I am very confident that our styles will blend well for a really exciting fight, ” Cleverly said respectfully.
This is a major platform for me to prove that I am more than capable of becoming world champion again,” he added. “If I beat Fonfara, it’s a doorway fight to the world title and establishing myself as one of the best light heavyweights once again.”