Originally announced June 28th, the upcoming fight between light-heavyweight title contender Andrzej Fonfara and former WBO titlist Nathan Cleverly will take place on October 16th in Fonfara’s adopted hometown of Chicago, Illinois.
Fonfara (27-3, 16 KO’s) has not fought since April earlier this year when he annihilated former middleweight standout Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (49-2-1, 32 KO’s) in nine one-sided rounds.
With the victory earning him the WBC International light-heavyweight title, Fonfara has been using the momentum to surge his way back to another title shot against Adonis Stevenson.
In May 2014, Fonfara fought the Canadian for his WBC title in which he lost a competitive unanimous decision.
Despite getting dropped twice, Fonfara fought back to score a knockdown of his own in the ninth, dropping the powerful Stevenson with a crisp right hand, and that had his opponent bleeding from the nose.
Alas, no cigar. Stevenson’s strong performance in the first half of the fight, including the two knockdowns, solidified the victory.
After a semi-successful stint as a cruiserweight, Cleverly (29-2, 15 KO’s) returned to the light-heavyweight division this past May where he earned a first-round stoppage of Tomas Man, a Czech fighter whose last three opponents prior to the bout combined for an outstanding record of 47-115 with six draws.
Cleverly defeated Shawn Corbin and Alejandro Emilio Valori, but lost a rematch to Tony Bellew before deciding to drop back down. In August 2013, he was extinguished by Sergey Kovalev in four rounds, losing his WBO title where he faced Corbin exactly seven months after the defeat.
Interestingly, both men have beaten Tommy Karpency, Adonis Stevenson’s upcoming opponent on Sept. 11. While Cleverly dominated the American, Fonfara had his ups and his downs.
He dropped Karpency twice in the opening round, but Karpency rebounded to rough up Fonfara on the ropes with hard right hands to take the lead on the scorecards.
In the seventh round, Karpency was hammering Fonfara against the ropes. Fonfara grabbed ahold of Karpency, who lost his balance and fell to the mat, injuring his shoulder upon falling. Karpency couldn’t continue and Fonfara was awarded the victory.
Cleverly didn’t prove anything by beating Man and this isn’t the cruiserweight division, so he still has a lot to prove against a stronger Fonfara.
If Fonfara can win this one decisively, it could mean a rematch with Adonis Stevenson in 2016, unless Sergey Kovalev manages to get a shot at unifying the division first.