Boxing


Enzo Calzaghe Wishes Nathan Cleverly The Best, Says Reports Of Ill Feeling On His Part Are Nothing But Lies

by James Slater - 61-year-old Enzo Calzaghe, the trainer and father of all-time great Joe Calzaghe and a good number of other talented boxers besides, once trained latest Welsh star Nathan Cleverly; the man who is soon to box an eliminator for WBO light-heavyweight title. Calzaghe Senior worked with the unbeaten 23-year-old who is now turning heads, back in the days of Cleverly's initial pro outings, before the 19-0(9) contender left so as to be trained full-time by his father, Vince..

And, with the press being the press, it was reported how Enzo was angered at Cleverly's decision to leave, and that he had ill feelings towards him. However, in a recent interview with Argus Sport, Enzo made it clear there are no ill feeling on his part, or on the part of his son, aimed at the Cleverlys. Indeed, the veteran trainer says he and Joe now hope Nathan can go on to reach the same heights "The Pride of Wales," reached.

"It has made a nice big lie for the papers to suggest there is big ill feeling between the Calzaghes and the Cleverleys after Nathan left our gym, but that was because of Joe's split with Frank Warren, it was never personal and I have no bad words to say about Nathan or his father, Vince," Enzo said. "He's an exceptionally talented kid, that isn't hindsight. I am full out pleased for him and half of that is for selfish reasons, because we started Nathan off. Half of his success is down to this gym and he knows that."

Having really come into his own in the last year or so, when he has found his punching power as well as reached his maturity, Cleverly is seen as a dead-cert to win a world title one day. And, though September 18th's battle with the unbeaten Karo Murat, 22-0(13) is at present only a final eliminator for the WBO 175-pound belt, there is a chance the fight will be elevated to full title status. Current WBO ruler Juergen Braehmer, currently 36-2(29) and, like Murat, from Germany, awaits the result of an appeal designed to keep him out of jail on an assault charge. If southpaw Braehmer is convicted, the September clash will be for the full title.

It's clear then, that Cleverly, a pro for less than five years yet ready top box for major titles, has made astonishing progress. Also, as good as he's looking and continuing to get, there is a real chance the Welsh university maths graduate will be facing the cream of the 175-pound division in the coming months. First, though, he must beat Murat. Also, as Enzo knows, winning the title is one thing; keeping it is another.

"Winning a world title is one thing, but holding onto it is 100 times harder," Calzaghe said. "Vince (Cleverly) has helped him with his power and he'll know that he can get better and better. Nathan's only 23 and Vince can help to guide him. Nathan will have bad days, Joe did, but this (father and son) formula works for him and I really hope they enjoy every success Joe and I did."

It's good to know Enzo and his Hall of Fame-bound son have no axe to grind against the fighter who may very well go on to be "the next Joe Calzaghe," and I'm sure Nathan is pleased about this, too.

Now, can the long-armed 23-year-old, who has already captured the British, Commonwealth and European titles, take care of Iraq-born, 26-year-old Murat?

Article posted on 09.07.2010



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