Nathan Cleverly(28-2, 14KO’s) will feature on the undercard of this weekend’s UK PPV card ‘Rule Britannia’, headlined by Kell Brook vs. Frankie Gavin for the IBF welterweight title. Featuring two more world title bouts further down the card.
Cleverly, who will be dropping back down to the light-heavyweight division after a short-lived and ultimately unsuccessful run at cruiserweight. Cleverly will be taking on Tomas Man(13-8-1, 13KO’s) as he looks to ease himself back to the top of a weight-class he championed in for two years between 2011-13.
His last fight in November was a rematch with bitter rival Tony Bellew, and Cleverly lacked the energy and work-rate that have long been his calling card. It was that performance that convinced him he needed to slim down, and while talking to Skysports.com he revealed he is just focusing on getting back to business after half a year out.
“It has been six months since I was last in the ring, so I am looking forward to getting back in there and getting some cobwebs off.”
“Hopefully after Saturday night I will have something big to concentrate on – which I hope will be the Brahmer fight.”
Almost as soon as Cleverly announced his intention to move back down to 175 .lb., his promoter Eddie Hearn started the wheels turning for a clash with Germany’s WBA World light-heavyweight champion Jurgen Braehmer(46-2, 34KO’s).
The man hasn’t lost in seven years and the last time a British fighter tried to take his title(Enzo Maccarinelli in April last year) he was retired inside five rounds with a grotesque eye injury. He guards his belt jealously and does not look like slowing down anytime soon even at the age of thirty-six.
That bout has already been agreed in principle, but Cleverly is still focused on putting on a good display this Saturday.
“I understand it has been provisionally agreed, and a date has been provisionally agreed, it is just a matter of me coming through Saturday and we can make an announcement then.”
Ultimately, Cleverly sounds happy to be back on his old stomping grounds but admits he must watch out for Braehmer’s power. Something he failed to do during his last fight in this division against Sergey Kovalev in 2013.
In hindsight that loss doesn’t look too bad now given how ‘The Krusher’ has gone on to dominate the division. But none of us will know how Cleverly responds to a few accurate whacks until he takes them. That is unlikely to happen this weekend, but Braehmer is more than capable of dishing that kind of punishment out.