World Boxing Organization (WBO) World Light-Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly says his clash against big-hitting Serbian Robin Krasniqi will be like Andy Murray facing Novak Djokovic – only he will come out the winner.
Unbeaten Cleverly, 25, puts his title and record on the line at Wembley Arena on Saturday 16th March on a huge night of boxing joint-headlined with Ricky Burns’ WBO/IBF World Lightweight Unification fight against Miguel Vazquez, plus George Groves challenging for the Vacant European Super-Middleweight title, heavyweight Dereck Chisora* and Commonwealth Super-Featherweight Champion Liam Walsh, all live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
Cleverly, who stopped Shaw Hawk in eight rounds last November in his US debut, is looking forward to a shootout with the heavy-handed Serb who won his last four fights by KO to get himself into the mandatory position for a shot at the Welsh hero’s title.
And with British tennis star Murray being blasted out by Krasniqi’s countryman and world number one Djokovic in the Australian Open final last month to crush Murray’s hope of a second major win, Cleverly says he won’t let Krasniqi end his dream of going on to unify the titles.
“I watched Murray in the Australian open against Djokovic and that was a great battle over nearly four hours. He held his own, taking some big shots from the Serbian and giving it back, but despite a brave fight and battling back a couple of times, he was out-gunned by Djokovic and also the blisters on his feet couldn’t have helped. Murray a great British talent, though, and he’s my call to win Wimbledon this year,” Said Cleverly.
“Krasniqi is on a roll at the moment, he’s stopped his last four opponents, three of them inside four rounds and one in the last round. He’s never been stopped in 41 fights with only two early points losses in his career. I’ve got twelve rounds or 36 minutes to stop Krasniqi in, this won’t be going the distance, it’s going to be a real fire-fight between us,”
“Facing a big puncher doesn’t bother me, it excites me. People were making Tony Bellew out to be some big puncher but when we got in the ring and I took one of his shots it surprised me by how soft he hits, so reputations don’t always count,”
He added, “While a tennis player can come back and win in his next match, for a boxer a loss is a massive set back. I’m so close to a big unification fight and a slip-up against Krasniqi will be a massive blow to me facing one of the world champions next so it’s crucial that I win this fight.”
Tickets for Rule Britannia, priced at £40, £50, £75, £100, £150 and £200 are available from Eventim on 0844 249 1000 or www.eventim.co.uk
Rule Britannia is live and exclusive on The Home of Champions BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). Join at www.boxnation.com
*Dereck Chisora’s appearance on the show is strictly subject to him being successful with his license application to the British Boxing Board of Control.