Nathan Cleverly and Ricky Burns have promised to make up for Britain’s summer of sporting flops – by winning world titles in the autumn. Welshman Cleverly challenges unbeaten Karo Murat for the vacant WBO interim light heavyweight title on September 18 at the LG Arena in Birmingham. Burns will challenge WBO super featherweight champion Roman Martinez on September 4 in Glasgow. Both boxers have vowed to put a smile back on the faces of British sports fans after England crashed out of the World Cup, and Andy Murray failed in his bid to become Wimbledon champion.
“I’m a patriotic Welshman, but I’ll always get behind England, Scotland and Ireland,” said Cleverly. “When I turned up to the press conference last week to announce the September 18 show, everyone was talking about the football and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the likes of James Degale, Frankie Gavin, Kell Brook and Sam Sexton look so down after England’s defeat. I watched England against Germany myself last week, and I felt pretty sorry for the England boys. When I meet the lads yesterday I told them straight away that I’d be getting a bit of revenge over Germany by knocking out Murat. The Germans might be good at football, but when it comes to boxing, they always seem to be reliant on home-town decisions. Fair play to Murat for coming over to Birmingham to take the fight, but he’s not going back to Germany with the title.”
Burns added: “Everyone in Scotland thought Andy was going to do it this year at Wimbledon. I’ll make up for his loss though. Martinez is no Rafael Nadal, and I’ll serve him up a few smashes and take away his WBO belt.”