The former WBO World Light-Heavyweight champion takes on the tough Australian Daniel Ammann for the Vacant Commonwealth Cruiserweight title on Saturday 30th November at London’s Copper Box Arena, live and exclusive on BoxNation.
Cleverly, 26, who started his pro career as an 18-year-old welterweight in 2005, is now adding an extra 25lb of muscle as he starts his campaign to win a second world title after his shock loss to Sergey Kovalev in August.
And the Welsh star knows that he will need as much beef as possible in his new weight class as he’ll be facing small heavyweights, but is confident he’ll also have the speed to deal with them.
He said, “Making the jump from light-heavyweight to cruiserweight is a 25lb difference, it’s the biggest weight jump in all of the divisions in boxing. To prepare for the move I’ve got a sports nutritionist monitoring my diet and steak is one of the main components. It’s protein packed and perfect for bulking up, I’m eating it everyday, but it’s starting to get a bit tiring,”
“The move up to cruiserweight was much needed though and before I lost to Kovalev I was thinking about it anyway. I’ve been making light-heavy for the last six years and while making the weight was a struggle at times, sometimes my performance didn’t match it. My body has grown more as I’ve matured, but I kept winning at the weight so I didn’t want to change a good thing,”
“Following the loss to Kovalev I had some time out to get away from the sport to reassess things and the first thing to come up was did I have the desire to fight again. I definitely wanted to fight again and I definitely want to become a world champion again, that’s the driving force for me. I know I can do it, I’ve got the ability, my promoter Frank Warren has provided me with the opportunities and now it is down to me prove myself,”
“It’s a big challenge, but life is all about facing challenges and overcoming them. I’ve had a big blow losing my world title and unbeaten record, but now it’s about getting back on the horse and riding it again,”
“I’m looking forward to life as cruiserweight. With the extra weight I’ll still have my speed and that will be a big factor in dealing with these guys. Ammann is a good test for my cruiserweight debut and the important thing for me is to make a big impression by beating Ammann and winning the Commonwealth belt before looking at anyone else in the division.”
Dereck Chisora headlines the Copper Box Arena with the first defence of his European Heavyweight title against Matteo Modugno; plus London sensation Frank Buglioni challenging for the Vacant WBO European title; Bradley Skeete v Colin Lynes for the Vacant English Welterweight title. An action-packed undercard features Mitchell Smith, Andreas and Chris Evangelou, Georgie Kean, Gary Corcoran and Tom Baker.
Tickets for Rock The Box 2 priced at:
£40 (Upper concourse)
£50 (Lower seating bowl)
Are available from Eventim Box Office on 0844 249 1000 or at www.eventim.co.uk
Watch live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). Join at www.boxnation.com