Cleverly weighs in for Karpency bout but has eyes on Hopkins prize
Toe-to-toe: Nathan Cleverly (right) and Tommy Karpency face off
Nathan Cleverly weighed in just under the light-heavyweight limit at 12st 6lb for his WBO title defence against Tommy Karpency on Saturday night.
The Welshman makes his long awaited homecoming at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena in the third defence of his belt.
And the 25-year-old is expected to sweep aside the unheralded Karpency on his way to a potential summer showdown with Bernard Hopkins.
‘That’s all the hard work done so now it’s roll on to fight night and I can’t wait,’ Cleverly said.
‘I’ve trained hard for the fight, my weight was great throughout the training camp and the results will show on the night with a knockout performance.
‘The Motorpoint Arena is going to be jam-packed and it’s going to be an electric atmosphere like the days of Joe Calzaghe’s big fight nights in the city.
‘It’s my first fight here in over four years and the Welsh fans have really come out to support me and it’s set to be a great weekend with the rugby and football going on as well.
Other aims: Cleverly is eyeing up a fight with Bernard Hopkins
‘I’m a winner and a champion and I intend on keeping hold of my belt on Saturday night.’
Cleverly is expected to take to the ring in front of a sell-out crowd in Cardiff and hopes American legend Hopkins is also watching.
‘I was brought up to respect my elders and he’s a legend of the sport so I’ll refer to Bernard as Mr. Hopkins,’ he added.
‘If Mr. Hopkins could stay up a bit later this Saturday, as I guess he retires to bed earlier these days, have a cup of hot cocoa and settles down to watch EPIX then he’ll see his next challenger live on his TV.
But first: He has to beat Hopkins' compatriot Karpency
‘I don’t want to give him a nightmare as he’s lost to one Welshman already in my former gym-mate Joe Calzaghe, which is no disgrace as he’s Britain’s greatest ever boxer, but if Joe was the master then Mr. Hopkins must now face the student.
‘He’s got his unfinished business with Dawson to settle first and we’ll see what happens, but I want to fight him.
‘He’s one of the greatest champions in history and has made extraordinary achievements in the sport, but I want to be the best so I’ve got to face the best and that’s Mr. Hopkins.’