Cleverly’s return announced for April

Cleverly’s return announced for April

Cefn Fforest’s Nathan Cleverly (28-2, 14KO) will return to the ring on April 11th as he aims to become a two-time world champion. There is no confirmed opponent for Cleverly but he will appear on the undercard of Matchroom Sport’s ‘We Are Leeds’ show at the First Direct Arena in Yorkshire. The 27-year-old will also return to light-heavyweight, the weight category where he ruled as WBO world champion for five defences until losing to Sergey Kovalev in the summer of 2013. The loss triggered a move 25lbs north to cruiserweight where Cleverly scored two knockout wins against Shawn Corbin and Alejandro Valori, before dropping a Split Decision loss to his old rival Tony Bellew in a rematch on Sky Sports Box Office. Eddie Hearn, who promotes Cleverly, has said that another world title shot is almost certain if Cleverly wins in Leeds. A second world title chance is very likely to take place in September against WBA Regular champion Juergen Braehmer, who is handled by Sauerland Promotions in Germany. Braehmer has defended the title three times since winning it in 2013, including a fifth round stoppage of Swansea’s Enzo Maccarinelli. Cleverly and Braehmer have history dating back to 2011. The Welshman was mandatory for Braehmer’s WBO title and had to wait an extended period of time for a shot, due to the champion’s long standing criminal court cases. When a fight was eventually agreed, Braehmer withdrew at the last minute. The sanctioning body stripped Braehmer of the title and installed Cleverly as champion, outside of the ring and he went on to stop Aleksy Kuziemski in his first defence. The April 11th date will be headlined by Lee Selby’s domestic rival, Josh Warrington. The featherweight will compete in a WBC world title eliminator against Dennis Tubieron, while there is no news about Selby’s challenge to IBF world champion Evgeny Gradovich which is still in negotiation. Also on the undercard, part-Welshman Danny ‘Maxi’ Hughes (13-1-2, 2KO) will fight Martin J Ward (10-0-2, 5KO). The super-featherweights met in a British title eliminator in December and it was judged to be a Majority Decision draw, despite Hughes scoring two knockdowns. Doncaster-based Hughes will enjoy home advantage in the rematch and victory may make him mandatory for the British title currently held by Liam Walsh, which Blackwood’s Craig Evans hopes to win in February.

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