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Cleverly eager to start American adventure

Photo: Gene Blevins – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy

By Miguel Maravilla

WBO light heavyweight world champion Nathan Cleverly (24-0, 11 KOs) of Caerphilly, Whales makes his return to the United States as he gets set to defend his title against South Dakota’s Shawn “Sioux Warrior” Hawk (22-2-1, 16 KOs). Cleverly-Hawk will be the main event on a Showtime Extreme telecast from the Staples Center in Los Angeles for Cleverly’s WBO light heavyweight title. “This is a great experience for me and opportunity to come to the states to showcase my talent I am looking to make a statement on Saturday night I feel that it will take my career to the next level,” Cleverly said at Wednesday’s final press conference. “Let’s put on a great show Saturday night. I am looking forward to exciting the fans and making a statement and making the most of this.”

This will be his fourth defense of his WBO light heavyweight title. “I have to be on my game,” he said. “I am looking forward to the challenge. The American fans can expect an exciting fight and style.”

There is speculation that Cleverly could take on former light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins next year in Great Britain as the Golden Boy and Cleverly met yesterday before the press conference for the first time. “What is very possible is Bernard Hopkins going to Britain to box Nathan,” Promoter Oscar de la Hoya told a group of reporters.

The 25 year old Welsh fighter has already become a star in the U.K. and will fight in the United States for the first time since winning an eight round decision over Antonio Baker back in 2008 in Las Vegas on the Joe Calzage-Bernard Hopkins preliminary undercard.

“I am so excited loving the U.S. The atmosphere and the opportunity to fight here on American TV and get me some U.S. exposure are exciting times for me,” Cleverly told Fightnews.com. “This is a great arena, a great tradition of boxing as you can see they have a statue of Oscar de la Hoya. It’s great to have the opportunity to box here and hopefully it can be the start of my American adventure.”

Follow me on Twitter @MigMaravilla

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