Clev keen to return to 175lbs without pressure

Clev keen to return to 175lbs without pressure

Cefn Fforest’s Nathan Cleverly (28-2, 14KO) is looking forward to returning with a relatively low profile and away from the spotlight on Saturday. The 28-year-old will feature on the undercard of Matchroom Sport’s stacked ‘Rule Britannia’ show at London’s O2 Arena against Czech Republic’s Tomas Man (13-8-1, 8KO) in an eight round contest. The last time Cleverly was in a ring, the Welshman’s three-fight cruiserweight experiment backfired when he was beaten in a rematch with his bitter rival Tony Bellew. November’s disappointing defeat, courtesy of a Split Decision, came on Britain’s biggest platform of Sky Sports Box Office and while it boosts the financial benefits of fighting, the scrutiny is intensified and often unforgiving. Speaking of the situation, Cleverly said: “I’m enjoying just going under the radar, I’ve got to be honest. It’s nice to have a breather and slip under the radar with no major media attention. Not many people knew I was on the bill, it’s not much pressure and I don’t feel so mentally fatigued. “I don’t regret it [attempting cruiserweight]. It was a calculated gamble. I enjoyed the process and training, doing the weights and looking the part. No regrets, I didn’t get hurt and I was fighting bigger guys, I came through it unscathed. “Until the last fight, it was enjoyable. I learned valuable lessons and found out I wasn’t a true cruiserweight. I’m glad I’ve experienced it and found that out, I’ve no regrets about that move and we go on to the next challenge.” Cleverly’s lethargic performance at 200lbs persuaded him to return 25lbs lighter as a light-heavyweight – where he previously enjoyed WBO world, European, British and Commonwealth title reigns. It will be Cleverly’s first fight back at light-heavyweight since suffering his first ever professional loss, a heartbreaking fourth round stoppage to Russia’s undefeated Sergey Kovalev in August 2013. Since the failed fifth defence of Cleverly’s then WBO title, Kovalev has established himself as the weight categories best boxer by unifying the WBO, WBA and IBF versions of the title. The task of shrinking to a minimum weight is an unenviable task for any boxer and Cleverly’s promises that he’s prepared for it professionally. He said: “It’s been good, I’ve felt sharp and my weights come off nicely. I feel strong at the weight and I’ve been able to train well. It’ll be nice to get back there. I’m enjoying the adventure of going back to my old weight, getting it restarted. “I sit back and look at what I achieved in the light-heavyweight division in the past, it gives me goose bumps sometimes. I get excited and I want to do it all again, I’m young enough and I’ve learned a lot from my old chapters and I can use it in my next mission.   Cleverly’s lethargic performance at 200lbs persuaded him to return 25lbs lighter as a light-heavyweight – where he previousl “There’s no major changes, it’s all kind of a similar to routine to what I was doing back then. Ultimately, my first run at light-heavyweight was an unbelievably exciting one. So, there’s no dramatic change to what I was doing when I was in form. There’s been a lot of repetition with a few minor tweaks here and there in my training, lifestyle and weight making. Lets hope it can take me to become two-weight [correction: time] world champion.” The overmatched visitor with the unenviable task of opposing a motivated Cleverly for his keep-busy bout is Tomas Man. The former super-middleweight has 22 outings of experience under his belt and won 11 on the spin but it’s mostly been against the same pool of opponents. The Welshman has paid little attention to his opponent, who he should be facing around 9pm on Saturday, and openly admits that he’s more bothered about proving he can perform at 175lbs. In conclusion, Cleverly said: “I know his [Man’s] record and that he’s an orthodox fighter, that’s about it. I haven’t seen the guy and I don’t need to. I’m just concerned about myself and turning up in good condition at light-heavyweight. I’m going to take him out and move on to where I belong, a world title challenger. “It’s important that in this tune up fight, I make sure I’m good at the weight and I’m strong at it. It’s about getting the cobwebs off, I’ve been out of the ring for six months. It’s an important fight for my assault on the world stage, I need this one just to get my timing and make sure the weight is done properly.” Sky Sports Box Office will show ‘Rule Britannia’ exclusively live this Saturday. Buy now at www.skysports.com/brookgavin

Multimag Comments

We love comments
No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Your data will be safe! Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person. Required fields marked as *