Boxing


Cleverly, Mitchell Get The Star Treatment; Eye Big Fights

After their sensational wins last Saturday night Nathan Cleverly and Kevin Mitchell will be introduced to huge sporting crowds in their home cities over the next seven days. The new stars of British boxing and world champions of the future will respectively be half-time guests at Cardiff City Stadium and Upton Park on Saturday - and say one day they will return to headline blockbuster bills. Cleverly will make a special appearance at Cardiff City's Championship clash with Barnsley in south Wales, while Mitchell will take to the pitch at West Ham's Premiership fixture against Hull. Both games kick off at 3pm..

New European light-heavyweight champion Cleverly will also meet the crowd at next Friday's big Six Nation's showdown between Wales and France at the Millennium Stadium.

"I watched Wales' thriller against Scotland last weekend before my fight, and it was a real inspiration," said Cleverly, who stopped Italy's Antonio Brancalion in five rounds.

"I think I could hear the roar from the crowd in my hotel room at Wembley Arena.

"I've been lucky enough to box at the Millennium Stadium before, and I'd love to be back headlining a show here in a world title fight.

"Equally, I love the atmosphere at Cardiff City Stadium, and a big fight there would be a dream come true as well."

Mitchell, who is on course for a shot at the WBO lightweight title in the summer, is a passionate West Ham fan and says he has long targeted a world title shot in east London.

"I'm supposed to be fighting Michael Katsidis next, and if he wants to come to Upton Park to get it on then I'm sure he'd be made very welcome," said Mitchell.

"But to be honest I'd fight him in his own back garden if it meant I could finally get my hands on a world title."


Nathan Cleverly and Kevin Mitchell Eye Big Fights

Nathan Cleverly and Kevin Mitchell have promised even bigger wins following their impressive championship victories at the weekend.

Mitchell will probably take on Michael Katsidis in the summer for the WBO World Lightweight title, with his promoter Frank Warren poised to open negotiations with Katsidis' handlers Golden Boy Promotions.

The Dagenham Destroyer, who easily crushed Ignacio Mendoza at the weekend, says his preference would be for a showdown with the Australian at Upton Park football ground, home of his beloved West Ham.

But he also said he would be prepared to travel to the States to tackle Katsidis if that was what it took to get the fight on.

"I'm ready to make the step up," said Mitchell.

"Everything has come together nicely in my last few fights. It's taken me a couple of fights to grow into the lightweight division but I've carried my power up and all I want now is to fight for the world title."

Cleverly captured the European light-heavyweight title against Antonio Brancalion at Wembley Arena, and he too has designs on a world title.

The young Welshman takes his university finals in May, and may not fight before them, but if he doesn't he will make a defence of his European belt in June or July.

"Boxing is just a hobby at the moment, I'm doing it part time because of my studies," said Cleverly. "When I graduate I will dedicate 100% of my time to it and you will see another 25% improvement from me.

"It's been a whirlwind 18 months since I won the Commonwealth title. I'll reflect on what I've done and then I'll look to move on to bigger and better things. A couple of defences of my European belt would be good, but I don't want to stop there."

Warren added: "I've been banging on about Mitchell and Cleverly for the last few months, and they showed what talent they have got on Saturday night.

"I want to keep them busy and in big fights, and hopefully we can make an announcement very soon about where they are going to go next."

Meanwhile Warren's two Olympians, Frankie Gavin and James DeGale, could find themselves fighting for titles sooner rather than later having scored impressive victories over Peter McDonagh and Matt Barr on Saturday.

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FORTHCOMING EVENTS

FRIDAY, MARCH 12, 2010
LIVERPOOL ECHO ARENA

THE SUPER-MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP OF GREAT BRITAIN
Paul Smith v Tony Dodson

THE WBO INTERCONTINENTAL WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP AND WORLD TITLE ELIMINATOR
Kell Brook v Krzysztof Bienias

CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE (TBC)
Tony Bellew v TBA

Plus: Enzo Maccarinelli, Stephen Smith, Liams Smith, Ronnie Heffron, Thomas Costello, Joe Selkirk, Tobias Webb.

Article posted on 18.02.2010



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