Big punching unbeaten light heavyweight contender Sergey Kovalev (21-0-1, 19 KO’s) will be facing WBO 175 lb. champion Nathan Cleverly (26-0, 12 KO’s) on August 17th in a fight that will be televised by HBO as part of a possible triple-header with IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale defending his title against challenger Darren Barker in a different location, and IBF super bantamweight champion Jonathan Romero facing an opponent still to be determined.
The Cleverly-Kovalev fight will be staged at the Motorpoint Arena, in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom.
This will be one of the rare fights for Cleverly where he’s fighting someone that actually is a really good fighter and who has a chance to beat him. You can’t say that about a lot of the guys that Cleverly has been fighting since he picked up the WBO 175 lb. title in 2011. There’s been a lot of weak opposition that Cleverly has been facing and it’s nice to see him fight a live body for a change.
Cleverly and his promoter must see something in Kovalev’s fighting style that leads them to believe they can win this fight because otherwise I seriously they would have taken it. Kovalev looks like a better version of Robin Krasniqi, a fighter that Cleverly easily beat last April by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision.
Cleverly has to think he can take Kovalev’s power because there’s no real explanation for him taking this fight. It’s going to be tough for Cleverly because Kovalev can punch hard and Cleverly doesn’t have much power to back him up with. Cleverly has faced only one big puncher in his career against Tony Bellew, and he would have lost that fight had Bellew not faded in the last part of the fight. Kovalev doesn’t look like the type that fades, and he punches harder than Bellew and from a lot of different angles. Cleverly could wind up sorry he took this fight.
Kovalev may need a knockout to make sure he gets the win because he’s going to be the visiting fighter.