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Cleverly primed for mandatory defense

WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly says Saturday’s clash with mandatory challenger Robin Krasniqi in London could be his toughest fight thus far. “Potentially, he’s the best I’ve met,” said Cleverly. “He’s young, he’s worked hard to get himself into the mandatory position and he enters with a lot of momentum. His two defeats both came in his first three fights when he was still only a teenager and he’s since won 38 straight and knocked out his last four in title fights. As I’ve said, the unknowns can be very dangerous and Krasniqi seems super hungry.

“I’ve always been one to focus more on getting my own game right than wasting too much time worrying about opponents but I’ve seen bits of him on YouTube. He’s a typically upright Eastern European who leads off with the jab and has a big uppercut. A few of his recent knockouts have come with that. He seems gritty, strong and prepared to fight on the front foot. It should be very interesting.

“But I’m world champion so I have to expect to face challenges like this. The convincing win that I have planned will prove my status as a worthy world champion.”




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