Unbeaten Russian puncher Sergey Kovalev reportedly the frontrunner to next challenge WBO ruler Nathan Cleverly
By James Slater
Unbeaten WBO light-heavyweight champ Nathan Cleverly looks set to continue the waiting game as far as landing himself the type of big, big fight he craves. According The South Wales Argus, Cleverly, unable for the time being to get a massive fight with the likes of Bernard Hopkins, Carl Froch or any of the other reigning 175-pound champions, will instead almost certainly face unbeaten Russian puncher Sergey Kovalev next.
Kovalev, unbeaten at 20-0-1(18) and based in Florida, must win his fight tonight, against the capable Cornelius White, 21-1(16), but assuming the 30-year-old does come through unscathed, The Argus reports how a London press conference is planned for next week, to formally announce Cleverly Vs. Kovalev for some time in August (venue still to be determined).
An interesting fight to be sure, Cleverly will be determined to avoid any slip-ups as he awaits his defining fight or fights. Kovalev can bang, yet he has never fought outside of America or Russia before. A pro since 2009, the Russian does, however, hold some notable wins: stoppages over Darnell Boone and, last time out, Gabriel Campillo for instance.
Kovalev, if he does win tonight, will almost certainly have to travel to the UK for his chance at Cleverly, 26-0(12).
In other light-heavyweight news that, who knows, might affect Cleverly, it has been reported how the planned July fight between IBF king Bernard Hopkins and Karo Murat (a former stoppage loser to Cleverly) has been called off due to visa issues on the part of the German fighter. Maybe Hopkins will look Cleverly’s way now instead and shake up plans for the in-the-works Cleverly-Kovalev fight?