Nathan Cleverly can’t wait for The Homecoming

Just a week away from his first with American Tommy Karpency, WBO world light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly has said he can’t wait to bring back world championship boxing back to Wales. World championship boxing has been absent from Wales since Joe Calzaghe’s superb super-middleweight unification fight with Mikkel Kessler in front of 55,000 fans at the Millennium Stadium in 2007.

The public and fight fans have responded brilliantly for Cleverly’s fight at the Motorpoint Arena on February 25th and it’s not gone unnoticed.

“I think there’s a lot more hype around the fight, there’s more of a buzz and a lot of excitement because it’s a homecoming event.” said Cleverly.

“A lot of people are looking forward to the event and it’s been a long time since a world title fight has taken place in Wales – so for me to bring that back is a special personal feeling for me.”

Spearheading a resurgence of Welsh boxing at championship level isn’t something that fazes Cleverly either.

He said, “Maybe there’s an added pressure but ultimately I’m enjoying that a lot more, I’m quite enjoying the so called added pressure.”

“I’m just looking forward to fighting in front of my home fans and hopefully it’s going to be a special occasion for Welsh boxing and for myself returning home as world champion.”

Nathan Cleverly shocked with turn out for public workout

WBO world light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly says he was shocked by the response to the open day on Sunday with fans turning up in big numbers to watch a training session held at the Planet Fitness gym in Aberbargoed.

Cleverly said, “It was an excellent turn out, a great response. I was surprised when I turned up to the gym how many people were there and it just shows the great support I’ve got now. It means a lot and hopefully they enjoyed the day as well.”

Cleverly was supported by boxers Hari Miles, Liam Williams and Dai Davies who all showcased their skills in drills instructed by trainers Vince Cleverly, Alan Davies and Darren Wilson.

Many fans took the opportunity to get their memorabilia signed and photographs taken with Cleverly as he prepares for his homecoming fight against Tommy Karpency at the Motorpoint Arena on February 25th.

Cleverly continued, “It was a good chance for the general public to turn up and watch me go through my training along with the other fighters and they don’t usually get to see this side of boxing.”

“It was a great day, I enjoyed it! It was a little bit different, it was a chance for some of the young kids to meet me and the other fighters. Overall, it was an excellent day and we’ll probably do it again sometime.”

Cleverly expects big things from gym-mate Liam Williams

Britain’s only undefeated world champion Nathan Cleverly believes that another talent is about to be unearthed in the form of the rising Rhondda middleweight prospect, Liam Williams.

Both are under the same trainers, Vince Cleverly and Alan Davies, at the Planet Fitness gym in Aberbargoed and Cleverly has seen enough of the 19-year-old to hold a high opinion of him.

He commented, “I think Liam can be very good, he is very good. I’ve trained with Liam a lot – he’s very physically strong and he’s got a good boxing brain.”

“He’s got a good boxing pedigree with his amateur career. I think he’s a very, very good prospect and I expect him to go on to title level, definitely.”

Williams enjoyed a very successful amateur career that included 6 British and 7 Welsh title wins at various age groups, Cleverly believes that Williams has the added touch of talent that will make him successful.

“His timing is really good and that’s what separates a lot of the good fighters from the average fighters. The timing is that extra factor - the movement with the legs, the timing of the punches – Liam’s got it.” Cleverly said.

He continued, “He’s got power in both hands and he’s getting fitter now while adapting to the professional ranks. I think he’s got that bit of class that will take him through.”

After making a successful debut in the pro ranks with a shut-out decision win over Ryan Clark, Williams is next out in the undercard of Cleverly’s WBO world title defence against Tommy Karpency at the Motorpoint Arena on February 25th.

The undercard also includes more of Britain and Wales’ next generation of champions. This includes; Lewis Rees, Craig Evans, Tobias Webb, Francis Luke Robinson and Birmingham’s Frankie Gavin.

Article posted on 18.02.2012

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