By Przemek Garczarczyk
Photo: Wojtek Kubik
Former heavyweight title challenger Jameel McCline will be in attendance at promoter Frank Warren’s big fight card today in London’s Wembley Stadium, but not as a fighter. This time “Big Time” McCline will be at ringside as a member of the working media. Fightnews.com spoke to the knowledgable McCline about the featured bouts on the card: WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly’s world title defense against mandatory challenger Robin Krasniqi and the heavyweight clash between Dereck Chisora and Hector Avila.
Dereck Chisora (15-4, 9 KOs) vs. Hector Avila (20-12, 13 KOs)
McCline: We all know who will win this fight, but there’s more for DelBoy than just winning against Avila. Chisora has to prove he belongs in the elite of the heavyweight division. He says that he’s one of the best, but Dereck has to prove it in the ring – starting this Saturday. Statistically speaking, Dereck lost four of last five fights, but we all know that he lost against the judges in Robert Helenius fight. Can he be the same DelBoy, with intensity like then, or will we see Chisora from the David Haye fight? Against Avila, it’s not about winning, it’s about looking great doing it. He has to do it if he wants to be treated with the respect he says he deserves. If Chisora will looks mediocre at Wembley, nobody will treat him seriously. I’m sure he realizes that.
Nathan Cleverly (25-0, 12 KOs) vs. Robin Krasniqi (39-2, 15 KOs)
McCline: I think people are underestimating Robin. I know that he learned boxing as a professional, but when you’re not losing a fight in eight years, you have a big heart, you prepare for every fight, you are tough. Even if you don’t know half of the guys he beat, as a fighter I have to respect that. Not sure Nathan respects him enough. I don’t like all that talk about fighting Bernard Hopkins next. There’s no next. There will be guy in front of you this Saturday – you didn’t beat him yet. I did watch some of Krasniqi’s and Cleverly’s fights. Cleverly has an unbelievable punch output – up to 80 punches a round. Makes sense, knowing that his father and trainer was so close to another guy who liked to put punches in bunches – Joe Calzaghe. It will not be easy for Clev – I was watching his fight against Tommy Karpency and he got hit too much in this bout. Tommy is a good boxer, but Krasniqi is meaner in the ring, more dangerous when the fight is up close and personal.