New boxing star Nathan Cleverly says he would love a fight against legend Bernard Hopkins. The Welshman successfully defended his WBO World Light-Heavyweight title for the first time at the weekend, while Hopkins took the World Boxing Council (WBC) crown from Jean Pascal in their rematch to become the oldest champion in history.
If Cleverly and Hopkins did meet, it would pitch boxing’s oldest world champion against one of its youngest.
Hopkins gave Cleverly’s then mentor, Joe Calzaghe, a fright in the first round of their fight in April 2008 when he dropped Calzaghe before he went on to win on points.
And Cleverly would love the chance to take on one of the all time greats.
“I’ve got nothing but respect for Hopkins and all he has achieved,” said Cleverly.
“To win a world title at the age of 46 is an absolutely incredible achievement.
“There’s a lot of people out there who think he is the best light-heavyweight in the world, I’m the new boy on the scene and I want to prove them wrong.
“He’s already been beaten by a Welshman in Joe Calzaghe so If he fancies a bit of revenge then he can have a crack at me.
“My fight against Aleksy Kuziemski was shown live in the States on EPIX over the weekend, and I’ve been getting plenty of good feed back.
“People out there are beginning to know me, but my name will be on everyone’s lips once I dethrone a legend like Hopkins.
Robb Ready to Impress Reno
Exciting super featherweight prospect Guy Robb returns to the ring this Friday on the undercard of the ESPN2 Friday Night Fights main event Chris Arreola-Kendrick Releford at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada.
Robb (3-0, 1 KO) of Sacramento, California will take on experienced and battle-tested veteran Noe Lopez Jr. (7-7, 4 KOs) of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico in a bout scheduled for either four or six-rounds, depending on the length of the televised fights.
Lopez marks a considerable step-up from Robb’s recent opposition, something that does not bother the rising prospect. “I train hard, so I am not worried about the opponent,” says Robb. “I just worry about myself and what I am supposed to do. Everything is going well. I feel strong and I am ready.”
Robb’s manager, Repo Ric, feels the time is right to put his young charge in with a veteran foe that will test him. “We are taking on a very experienced kid because Guy Robb is of that caliber,” says Repo. “He needs to fight experienced kids. Guy Robb is the type of person, if you go there, he will take you there. He will show the world everything he’s got and open up to any fighter out there.”
Friday’s bout also marks a move down to 130-pounds for Robb, who had been taking fights at lightweight in order to keep busy. The event is being put on by one of the country’s leading promoters, Goossen Tutor Promotions, which gives the still unsigned Robb a chance to show them what he is all about. “The weight is at 130 and I am ready to go do my thing,” says Robb. “I am also excited to be fighting on a Goossen card and fighting for the fans in Reno.”
Given the opportunity to shine before a big time promoter could be a nerve-racking situation for a young fighter, but it is not something that will take Robb’s mind off the task at hand. “I don’t feel any pressure, but I am excited to fight in front of them,” says Robb. “They are definitely somebody I would be happy to work with and after everything goes well, hopefully they invite me back.”
If Friday’s fight is half as exciting as Robb’s previous outing, the Sacramento prospect will surely endear himself to the Reno fight fans and Goossen Tutor. Back on March 25th, Robb went toe-to-toe with Manuel Morales, a much naturally larger fighter, and came away with a clear four-round decision in a fight that received a standing ovation in Fairfield, California.
Though Robb opted to stand and trade for much of the fight, he wants to make clear he was not hurt at any time in the bout. “The fans were getting pumped up, but I wasn’t really getting hit,” says Robb. “I think people might have thought I was hurt or winded, but I was just excited. I was not hurt or anything and not many of the punches had an effect on me. I know the rule of the game is to hit and not get hit, and that’s mostly what I do.”
Robb is the type of fighter that feeds off of the crowd as they cheer him on during a fight. After the kind of response he got in Fairfield for his action bout last time out, one could see a fighter falling in love with the style he implemented in the bout. However, Robb has a good head on his shoulders. “We work hard and we are well prepared for every fight,” says Robb. “As long as I don’t lose focus or get sidetracked we are good. The fans pumping me up, that is just motivation if anything. It is definitely not a distraction.”
Robb is motivated for Noe Lopez this Friday, so the fans that come out to the Reno Events Center can expect to see a show from a fighter that can’t help but be exciting. “A fighter is supposed to be poker-faced and not too into their emotions, but at this time I am just being me,” says Robb. “Whoever is in front of me, I am trying to take them out, have fun in there and put on a show at the same time. The business we are in is entertainment, so the people respond to someone that is colorful.”
Get ready to respond Reno.
Tickets for the event, promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions, are available online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at the Reno Events Center, Eldorado and Silver Legacy’s ticket offices
CRUZ BATTLES CARRASQUILLO JULY 1
Bethlehem, PA—Undefeated welterweight prospect Ronald Cruz (left), of Bethlehem, PA, faces hard-hitting Doel Carrasquillo (right), of Lancaster, PA, in the scheduled 10-round main event of the first-ever boxing card at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem on Friday evening, July 1.
Cruz will headline a card for the first time as well as engage in his first scheduled 10-round bout in a temporary 1,600-seat tent on the grounds of the Sands.
”The Sands is proud to present its first professional boxing event featuring Ronald Cruz from Bethlehem,” said Robert DeSalvio, President of the Sands. “The fans will see a great card from Peltz Boxing.”
Cruz, 24, has developed a following while boxing 11 times in Philadelphia, PA, and Atlantic City, NJ. A pro since 2009, Cruz has won all 12 of his fights, nine by knockout. He has knocked out his last five opponents, including former national amateur standout Jeremy Bryan, of Paterson, NJ, and local rival Manuel Guzman, of Lancaster, PA.
Managed by ex-pro Jimmy Deoria, of Phoenixville, PA, and trained by Lemuel Rodriguez, of Bethlehem, Cruz had a brief amateur career, fighting 28 times in a13-month period from July, 2007, until August, 2008.
Carrasquillo, 38, has fought nearly every good prospect up and down the East Coast while compiling a record of 15-17-1, 13 K0s.
Known for a good punch and a solid chin, Carrasquillo knocked out previously unbeaten Denis Douglin, of Marlboro, NJ, in his last fight Feb. 18 in Salisbury, MD. Douglin, who was 12-0 at the time, is one of 11 undefeated fighters Carrasquillo has boxed.
Carrasquillo has boxed only four men (out of 33) with losing records, an incredible statistic in today’s boxing world.
Proving he doesn’t mind fighting local heroes in their hometowns, Carrasquillo knocked out Jorge Melendez last year in the loser’s backyard of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Melendez was 13-1-1 at the time. Two years earlier, at Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY, Carrasquillo snapped the 13-fight unbeaten streak of hometown hero Wayland Willingham with a first-round knockout.
“Tell Cruz he’d better be in top shape because Doel will be looking for him,” said Albert Solis, who trains Carrasquillo. “He’s never fought everyone as tough as Doel.”
Six preliminary fights complete the card, which begins at 7.30 p.m. and is being promoted by Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc.
“It’s an honor to stage the first boxing card at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem,” said International Boxing Hall-of-Fame promoter J Russell Peltz. “Ronald Cruz has been bringing fans with him to his fights in Philadelphia and Atlantic City. Now he has a chance to showcase himself at home. This could be the first step in helping boxing to become a fixture at the Sands.”
Tickets priced at $51 and $78 and go on sale next week in the gift shop of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem and online at www.ArtsQuest. org. Tickets also can be purchased at the offices of Peltz Boxing Promotions (215-765-0922) and online at www.peltzboxing.com.