Krasniqi-Cleverly: Another easy fight for Nathan?

By Brad Cronick: WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (25-0, 12 KO’s) will be facing his mandatory challenger Robin Krasniqi (39-2, 15 KO’s) on March 16th in the UK. This isn’t a fight that is attracting much interest as Krasniqi isn’t a big name and hasn’t faced anyone on the world stage yet like Cleverly.

It’s a big step up for the 25-year-old Krasniqi, and it’s hard to tell what’s going to happen in this fight. Krasniqi’s two losses on his resume cane early in his career in a couple of four-round decision losses in 2005. He’s since been unbeatable, winning his last 38 fights.

That’s impressive even if his opposition has been rather poor. He’s learned how to fight and seems to have improved his power in the last year in a big way, as he’s knocked out his last four opponents. None of them, however, were in the same league as Cleverly, so it may not be a sign of what Krasniqi will be able to do against Cleverly in this fight.

Cleverly will fight as he always does by looking to walk Krasniqi down, and unloading on him with massive amounts of punches until he drops. That might be the best strategy to beat Krasniqi, because he doesn’t have a high work rate and he tends to too selective when throwing his shots instead of just letting them go.

Unless Krasniqi increases his work rate by a considerable amount, he’s going to get taken apart by Cleverly in this fight. Throwing one punch for every six that Cleverly throws isn’t going to work for Krasniqi.

Cleverly wants to get some big names in 2013, provided he beats Krasniqi. He wants to fight Bernard Hopkins and Beibut Shumenov. Cleverly has a better chance of getting Shumenov in the ring if he’s willing to travel to the United States because it’s unlikely Shumenov will travel to the UK to fight him.