Nathan Cleverly’s father and trainer Vince has promised that his son will knock-out iron-fisted Sergey Kovalev. Cleverly Snr and Kovalev’s trainer, John David Jackson, discussed their fighters’ preparations last night on a conference call ahead of the massive showdown at the Cardiff Motorpoint Arena on Saturday August 17th on HBO. Cleverly defends his WBO world light-heavyweight title for the sixth and most dangerous defence yet against the undefeated Kovalev who’s knocked out 19 of his 22 opponents with 18 coming inside three rounds. But Cleverly is adamant that his son will retain his title and will even knock out the fearsome Russian.
“Of course, everybody is talking about Kovalev’s power, but if anybody is going to get stopped it’ll be Kovalev. We have plans from A to F, we can box him long, inside or mid range, but the main plan is K and O. Nathan has fantastic stamina, plenty of bottle and he’s going to do the business for Wales. He’ll KO Kovalev 100%,” said Cleverly.
“When we were in California for his fight against Shawn Hawk we sparred at Freddie Roach’s gym against a fighter called Lateef Kayode and he went at Nathan like a bull, but Nathan handled him. He’s handled heavyweights in sparring like Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora and they have hit him with their best shots and not moved him,”
“Kovalev just won’t knockout Nathan, he can’t hit what he can’t see. Nathan’s never been down on the canvas, ever, and he’s been in with bigger punchers than Kovalev. Nathan is going to be Kovalev’s dream breaker,”
“He’ll have more lateral movement, at least 30-40% better than he was against Robin Krasniqi, we’re not underestimating Kovalev, but his weaknesses stand out a mile, I know his weaknesses and so does Nathan and we’re well aware of his strong points,”
“Who’s to say that Nathan won’t take the fight straight to Kovalev, if you’re in the swimming pool you’re going to get wet, if you’re in the boxing ring you’re going to get hit, but Nathan will be like a machine gun in there.”
Highly respected trainer Jackson, a former two-time and two-weight world champion, has worked with some of the sport’s greatest fighters including Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley.
Jackson makes his return to Britain where he defeated Chris Pyatt on points to win the WBO World Light-Middleweight title in October 1990 – the first WBO World title fight to be staged in this country – and believes Kovalev will emerge the winner.
“Nathan and his father have been doing a lot of talking,” said Jackson. “We’ve studied Cleverly and watched him closely, either by decision or knockout, one round or twelve rounds, the title is coming with us,. They say they’ve got eight plans to fight Sergey. That’s a lot of plans, two or three, okay, but eight? Man, that’s a lot of plans.”
“I came over here and beat Chris Pyatt in his backyard and Sergey will be walking out with the belt in Cardiff. It’s in Cleverly’s backyard but we’re not worried, Sergey’s hands will be the judges on the night. He want’s it and I’m confident my man will be victorious. [Cleverly's] got a lot of weaknesses and they’ll be exploited. We can’t underestimate him though, he’s the world champion and he’s undefeated.”