World Boxing Organization (WBO) World Light-Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly is excited to hear that Bernard Hopkins wants to fight him at last, but has promised to end the American ring legend’s career.
Hopkins, 48, has said that he wants to face the unbeaten Welshman later this year, but he must first take on IBF title-holder Tavoris Cloud in New York on March 9, while Cleverly defends his title a week later against Robin Krasniqi at Wembley Arena.
Both fights will be televised live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
Hopkins is aiming to break his own record of boxing’s oldest ever world champion by beating Cloud and Cleverly says Hopkins’ name is the one he wants stamped on his CV.
“It was great to read that Hopkins wants to fight me as I’ve been calling him out for a while and he’s the name that I want on my record more than any other,” said Cleverly.
“He’s a great fighter, a definite hall-of-famer, and the name that will take my career to the next level, but I’m confident in my skill and ability and know that if he fought me it would be his last fight,”
“It’s my aim to unify titles and I agree with what Hopkins said about every division should have one king and not wanting to walk around with three other people carrying world titles.”
“I hope he gets through Cloud and wins the title then we can look to unify the titles at the end of the year, if not, then I’d be happy to take on Cloud.”
Despite being lifted by talks of a mega-fight against Hopkins, the 26-year-old says he’s concentrating on getting Krasniqi out of the way and then has mandatory challenger Juergen Braehmer to deal with.
He added, “Krasniqi is the first and only thing on my mind at the moment. It can be distracting talking about bigger fights down the line and things can go wrong in boxing as it’s only takes one punch to make or break plans,”
“I’ve always said that I want to challenge myself against the best and I’m building towards that now. I’ve got Krasniqi and then Braehmer to deal with and then hopefully Hopkins.”