CLEV: I’LL FIND VALORI’S BREAKING POINT

Cefn Fforest’s Nathan Cleverly (27-1, 13KO) is expecting to find Alejandro Emilio Valori’s (15-4, 11KO) breaking point when he continues on his cruiserweight quest on July 12th. The Argentinian import has been stopped three times before and Cleverly aims to make it a four times at Liverpool’s Echo Arena on Matchroom Sport’s ‘Collision Course’ show, broadcast live on Sky Sports. Cleverly said, “He’s got a breaking point, so I’m going to find it. I won’t go looking too much and try to force the issue, that’s something that will develop throughout the fight. I’ll just stick to my boxing, clever and methodically… bit by bit, find the breaking point. “I’ve researched a bit about him. He’s got a decent world ranking on BoxRec (28th – Cleverly’s is 15th), quite high actually. I’ve seen a few clips and he lets a few big punches go, swings them in and looks quite solid. I’ve got to respect that but style wise, it could be a good fight for me. “We’ll blend nicely, it could be an exciting fight. He’ll come forward and try to make a fight of it, it’ll be a good one while it lasts.” The reconstruction of Cleverly in a higher weight division (25lbs in total) whilst at a different promotional company and under the fresh direction of a new trainer is underway. In May, Cleverly scored a second round stoppage of Trinidad’s Sean Corbin, nine months after his first defeat at the hard hands of Sergey Kovalev. While acknowledging that he’s still in that transition period, Cleverly accepts that he’s more than a few levels above his next opponent and should handle Valori routinely but he’s realistic with what a win would mean, he said, “It’s a little, gradual step up from Sean Corbin. Corbin was a good fight at the time, the first step that introduced me to the division. My performance was spot on, it was just what I needed to do. “Valori is a little step up but it’s a fight that I should definitely take care of. I think it’s what I need, he’s nothing too great because there’s no major titles on the line. There’s no need to go crazy but it is what it is and I won’t get carried away when I win.” Cleverly has a successful history of fighting in Liverpool; taking his first title with a points victory over Tony Oakey for the Commonwealth strap in 2008, overcoming Nadjib Mohammedi for a world interim title in 2010 and handing fierce rival Tony Bellew his first professional defeat in a world title war in 2011. Bellew, who couldn’t like Cleverly less, also appears on July 12th as the pair build up to an eventual autumn rematch and Cleverly, who won a Majority Decision in their original encounter, is prepared for a less than welcoming embrace from Liverpool’s fight fans. He said, “It might be a little bit hostile because obviously I’m fighting on the same night as my rival (Bellew) who is from that city. Ultimately, I don’t think it’s not going to be overdramatic because the general fans in the arena will be there to watch good fights but it’ll be more than a touch of hostility. “I’ve fought in Liverpool three times before, with three victories. It’s a good hunting ground, so may that continue. I’ve had no problems fighting there in the past, I’ve enjoyed it actually. Lets keep the momentum going and stay focused.” Cleverly’s next bout will be his second in three months, the last time the Welshman competed so regularly was four years ago and he expects to experience the benefits of keeping active. He said, “It’s a great thing that I’m keeping active, keeping the cob webs away, keeping momentum. I’m staying in the gym, staying mentally focused and not having long breaks. I was nine months out of the ring, so I think it’s ideal now that I keep busy and this is a great opportunity to do that. “It’s easier to fight regularly at cruiserweight than light-heavyweight because I don’t have to keep getting down to weight. I feel fantastic at the new weight, I feel more natural, stronger and have more energy. I feel mentally better too, overall the weight will allow me to box more regularly with less strain on my body by draining down to the light-heavyweight limit.” Tickets for ‘Collision Course’ are available from www.EchoArena.com and priced at £30, £40, £60 and £100. VIP tickets are priced at £150 and available from Matchroom Sport on 01277359900.

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