WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly says his speed and workrate would be too much for American legend Bernard Hopkins if they met.
After his sensational win against mandatory challenger Robin Krasiniqi last Saturday night at Wembley Arena to make the fifth defence of his title, Cleverly’s promoter Frank Warren will be speaking to Golden Boy Promotions’ Richard Schaefer who promotes IBF king Hopkins to make the big unification showdown.
The Welsh wizard set a blistering pace against his German challenger, winning all but one round on the judges’ scorecards, throwing over 1000 punches over the twelve rounds and landing 319, in comparison to Krasniqi who threw 381 and landed 92. Cleverly’s jab was put to full effect, landing 108 out of 613 and out of the 434 power punches thrown, he landed with 211.
Cleverly, 26, believes his youth and pace would topple Hopkins, 48, who recently upset the odds by dethroning Tavoris Cloud to break his own record to become boxing’s oldest ever world champion. He makes the first defence of the IBF title against previous Cleverly victim Karo Murat in July and a unification showdown with Cleverly could happen later this year after the Cefn Fforest fighter makes another mandatory defence against Juergen Braehmer.
Cleverly said, “I showed another side to my game against Krasniqi, I showed that I could box intelligently, not get reckless against a dangerous challenger and made it look easy. He was very tough and maybe I would have liked to have knocked him out, but it was a great work-out and I showed the pace I can set for twelve rounds at the highest level,”
“Hopkins is a great great fighter and against him I’ll have to take my game to another level. His experience is unmatchable and technically he’s superb, but I think my youth, pace and aggression will be too much for him. I’d force him to fight every second of every round and not give him an inch or second to think.”