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Cleverly, Macklin foes named

Nathan Cleverly and Matthew Macklin will face former world title challengers on December 11 at Liverpool’s Echo Arena. Cleverly will challenge for the Interim WBO World light-heavyweight title against the number two ranked Alejandro Lakatos. And Macklin will defend his European middleweight belt against Ruben Varon.

Part of a huge card to celebrate promoter Frank Warren’s 30 years in boxing, the fights will feature alongside Paul Smith’s British super-middeweight title defence against James DeGale.

Kell Brook, Tony Bellew and Frankie Gavin will also be in title action.

Born in Romania, tough Eastern European Lakatos is a two-time world title challenger with a wealth of experience. Among his opponents have been unbeaten world champions Dariusz Michalczewski and Zsolt Erdei. “Lakatos knows what it is all about and he will be a real threat,” said Welsh sensation Cleverly. “He’s fought the best in the world so I can take nothing for granted, and I’ll have to be very sharp on the night.”

Spaniard Varon is equally dangerous, with a WBO world title challenge against Felix Sturm on his CV.

Macklin, who wants to press his claims for a world title shot with a win against Varon, said: “I’ve been saying for ages that Felix Sturm is the man that I want. If I can do a better job than him against Varon, it could start opening some doors for me. Varon will be really up for this fight though, so I can’t afford to slip up.”

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