Just yesterday it was announced by Main Events and Frank Warren promotions that on Saturday, August 17th at the Moterpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales Russian shredder Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev will head across the pond to face the quick punching WBO light heavyweight champion and local hero Nathan Cleverly in a twelve round bout. HBO Boxing After Dark will televise this fight as part of a split-site doubleheader featuring Cleverly-Kovalev and a Middleweight title fight between Daniel Geale and Martin Murray.
Kovalev, despite being the mandatory challenger for IBF champion Bernard Hopkins, is more than ready to face Cleverly. Kovalev scourged his last three opponents; Cornelius White, Gabriel Campillo and Lionell Thompson were all well-ranked contenders and Kovalev stood by his moniker as a “Krusher” in completely stomping them out; he did so in only three short rounds.
It seems Kovalev heeded the warning of those saying Hopkins craft would be a bit overwhelming for his power-punching style — allowing Hopkins to opt out of his mandatory duties with him so he could face the man constantly yelling for a unification with B-Hop — WBO world champion Nathan Cleverly.
The man claiming to be the next great British Light Heavyweight, and the successor of Joe Calzaghe, Nathan Cleverly is a big challenge for Kovalev. Cleverly flurries his punches. He dishes out quick “slappy” straights and uses them to line up harder uppercuts. This style serves him well in sieging control of a close fight — or pressing up the tempo and taking a late-round stoppage.
This fight, getting national television in the United Kingdom, Russia and the United States provides a good opportunity for both men. Kovalev could collapse Cleverly early in the fight; diminishing the perfect “0” on his record and finally being taken as a legitimate boxing champion. Cleverly could also expose Kovalev; snapping punches to the head and body of the Russian and effectively outboxing and defeating the fan-favorite.
Be sure to catch this well-anticipated war!