World Boxing Organization (WBO) World Light-Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly will live the American dream when he defends his world title at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday 10th November. The Welsh star features on a big Golden Boy Promotions card alongside the WBC World Super-Bantamweight Champion Abner Mares plus the International Boxing Federation (IBF) World Bantamweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz.
Cleverly’s title defence and the whole show will be televised live and exclusive on the Home of TV Boxing BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
Cleverly, 25, was due to defend his title at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on Saturday 27th October (please see below), but when promoter Frank Warren told his young star about the offer of a career enhancing opportunity of breaking the America market, Cleverly jumped at the chance.
He has already had a taste of the American experience when he fought on the undercard of Joe Calzaghe’s clash against Bernard Hopkins in Las Vegas in April 2008 and beat Antonio Baker on points.
With his challenger to be confirmed shortly, Cleverly is excited to be heading across the Atlantic, but said he won’t be overawed by the task.
“At only 25 it’s a dream come true to defend my world title in America on such a big show and it takes my career to a whole new level, it’s a golden opportunity to make a big statement that I’m the leading man in the light-heavyweight division,” said Cleverly.
“It will be exciting and challenging to get the recognition of the American fans and media and prove to them that I’m the real thing. Of course, I love fighting and headlining in front of my Cardiff home fans, but this shows that I’m not scared to leave my home comforts and risk my title by putting it on the line in another country, that’s what being a world champion is all about, I relish the challenge,”
“It’s a big test in my career, but I’m ready and won’t be overawed. I think that this will give my performance a sharper edge because I’m not at home and the pressure to perform will be on me,”
With three defences of his title under his belt, including a thrashing of Liverpool rival Tony Bellew last October and a commanding performance over Tommy Karpency in February this year, Cleverly will be looking at the elite in the division next year like Beibut Shumenov and Tavoris Cloud.
He added, “I’m in this business to prove that I’m at the best at the weight, I’ve achieved that over here by winning the British, Commonwealth and European titles and my aim is to unify all the world titles by beating all the champions out there,”
“I took Tony Bellew to school over the distance, he was my closest rival over here when we fought last year and I’ve left the likes of him far behind now. Shumenov and Cloud are the names that I’m looking to face next year and that excites me.”
“We’ve been trying hard to get Shumenov and Cloud to come over here and fight me but they’ve been reluctant to make the trip, so if they won’t come to me I’ll go over there and fight them. I’ll go to their own territory and embarrass them into facing me.”
Hall of Frame Promoter Frank Warren said, “I’m delighted that Nathan has got the opportunity to showcase his talent in America at this stage of his career. He’s eager to show the American fans what he’s made of and a win will set up big unification fights next year.”
With Cleverly now off the Motorpoint Arena event in Cardiff on Saturday 27th October, the show has now been postponed until his next defence in early 2013.
The two chief-supporting title fights on that card: Junior Witter v Frankie Gavin for the British Welterweight Championship and Ovill McKenzie v Enzo Maccarinelli for the Commonwealth Light-Heavyweight Championship, will take place on separate shows.
Witter v Gavin will now headline a Frank Warren Promotions event at the York Hall Bethnal Green on Thursday 1st November with an action-packed undercard featuring hot unbeaten talents Ronnie Heffron, Craig Evans, Gary Corcoran, Billy Morgan, Charlie Hoy and the professional debut of Miles Shinkwin.
McKenzie v Maccarinelli has been added to the Queensberry Promotions show on Friday 9th November at the Liverpool Olympia as chief support to the exciting derby clash between Paul Butler and John Donnelly for the Vacant British Super-Flyweight Championship. The card also features top talents Liam Smith and Matthew Fagan, plus former British Super-Middleweight Champion Paul Smith.
Ticket refunds for the Motorpoint Arena show will be available from the original point of purchase.