It was announced some time back that former WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (29-2, 15ko) would be fighting Chicago-based Pole Andrzej Fonfara (27-3, 16ko) in the Autumn/Fall, and it’s now looking set that the two will indeed clash in the “Windy City” on October 16th, according to multiple sources.
It is a very, very dangerous fight for Cleverly in Fonfara’s adopted backyard, with defeat surely spelling the end for the Welshman in terms of operating at a meaningful level and being in any kind of future world title contention.
The consensus is that Cleverly simply isn’t the same fighter he was since being brutalized in 4 rounds by dominant Russian knockout artist Sergey Kovalev two years ago, and after a brief flirtation at cruiserweight, which included an uninspired rematch defeat to Tony Bellew, he has done little of note since, blowing away the over matched Tomas Man in 30 seconds last May.
Not ideal preparation for a fight of this kind. He will certainly be the man with something to prove on the night.
Fonfara on the other hand is riding the wave of his April victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, whom he made quit on his stool after nine rounds, flooring the son of the Mexican legend along the way, and rumour has it that Jr is keen on a rematch to avenge the loss.
While Fonfara is said to be agreeable to that idea, it’s believed that the more attractive option for him is a world title shot at WBC 175lb champion Adonis Stevenson, whom he lost to on points 15 months ago.
Stevenson is set to fight Tommy Karpency – a man beaten by both Fonfara AND Cleverly – on Sep 11th in Canada, in a much maligned PBC on Spike match-up.