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London 2012 Olympic medallist Anthony Ogogo signs with Golden Boy Promotions

Team GB ace Ogogo takes first step towards the big time by signing for Golden Boy Promotions

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UPDATED:

18:55 GMT, 27 December 2012

Olympic bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo has become the first of Team GB's London 2012 fighters to switch to the professional ranks after signing a contract with Golden Boy Promotions.

In joining a stable headed by the retired Oscar De La Hoya, Ogogo, 24, could feature on bills in which Amir Khan, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Bernard Hopkins, Adrien Broner or Saul Alvarez are the main attraction and consequently enjoy a level of exposure many young professionals are unlikely to ever experience.

'I can't wait to get started,' said middleweight Ogogo of his decision to join Golden Boy, who recently revealed plans to enter the British boxing market. '2012 has been without doubt one of the greatest years of my life.

Turning pro: Anthony Ogogo is set to make his professional boxing debut in 2013

Turning pro: Anthony Ogogo is set to make his professional boxing debut in 2013

'To represent my country at a home Games was an incredible experience and the bronze medal I won will always be close to my heart.

'Following the Olympics I've been looking to the future and considering a number of options, and feel that the time is now right to turn professional with Golden Boy.'

Regardless of the difficulty many Olympic medallists have experienced in the professional ranks, Golden Boy chief executive Richard Schaefer is adamant Ogogo possesses the ability to be a significant success.

Battling for bronze: Ogogo was one of several Britons to impress at London 2012

Battling for bronze: Ogogo was one of several Britons to impress at London 2012

'Anthony Ogogo has everything you look for in a boxer,' Schaefer said.

'He can fight, he has style and charisma and he has amazing crossover potential. I have no doubt that Anthony has the skills in the ring and the personality outside of it to make him a global boxing star.'

Been there, done that: De La Hoya's Olympics success was followed by an illustrious pro career

Been there, done that: De La Hoya's Olympics success was followed by an illustrious pro career

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Nathan Cleverly to get home advantage in world title defence against Robin Krasniqi

Cleverly to get home advantage in world title defence against Krasniqi

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UPDATED:

16:38 GMT, 19 December 2012

Coming home: Cleverly will not have to travel to Germany to defend his title

Coming home: Cleverly will not have to travel to Germany to defend his title

Nathan Cleverly has avoided a daunting trip to Germany to defend his WBO world light-heavyweight title against Robin Krasniqi.

Cleverly, 25, missed out on a mouthwatering clash with American legend Bernard Hopkins after being ordered to face his mandatory challenger.

The Welshman will face Krasniqi on home soil on March 16 at a venue yet to be confirmed.

‘This fight is very motivating for me because it’s been hanging over me for a while so I really want to get this guy out of the way,’ Cleverly said.

‘I’ve got to make sure I’m on my game and put him to the sword.
‘I know that after this, the big fights are out there for me.

'I am pleased with the final decision. Now I have a schedule and can concentrate fully on the preparation.'

Cleverly was originally scheduled to face Serbian-born German last February at the Royal Albert Hall but had to pull out through illness.

Krasniqi, 25, has not been defeated since losing two of his first three fights over six years ago. Since then he has won 36 consecutive bouts, stopping 14 of his opponents.

Megafight: The Welshman still hopes to face American legend Bernard Hopkins

Megafight: The Welshman still hopes to face American legend Bernard Hopkins

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George Groves should be feared after Glen Johnson demolition

Win proves I'm a contender! Groves believes he should be feared after Johnson demolition

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UPDATED:

17:24 GMT, 16 December 2012

George Groves insists his demolition of Jamaican veteran Glen Johnson at London's ExCel has identified him as a fighter to be feared by his super-middleweight rivals.

Groves defended his Commonwealth title with a wide points victory over a respected opponent whose 71-fight record includes wins against Roy Jones and Antonio Tarver.

It was only the 24-year-old's 16th contest, yet he succeeded in defeating Johnson more comprehensively than British rival Carl Froch, who secured only a majority decision in June last year.

In control: George Groves scored an easy unanimous points decision over Johnson at Excel

In control: George Groves scored an easy unanimous points decision over Johnson at Excel

Fighting back: The 24-year-old has fought just twice this year due to injury setbacks

Fighting back: The 24-year-old has fought just twice this year due to injury setbacks

'That performance will tell the rest of the division that I'm here, that I'm a contender and someone not just to keep an eye on, but to fear,” Groves said.

'I will give anyone in the world a decent fight and would beat a lot of the top guys. I believe that now I'm a world class fighter.

'Johnson has boxed at the highest level for a long time, and at light heavyweight as well. The good fighters he's beaten is impressive.

'I can look back at this year and say I've only had two fights, I've had two successful fights and have made big improvements.'

Injury has restricted Groves to just two outings this year and while he was hit too easily, his movement, accuracy and work-rate fully justified the 120-107 120-107 119-109 decision on the scorecards.

The one surprise was that he failed to become only the second man to stop the battle-hardened Johnson after Bernard Hopkins, although the 43-year-old was saved by the bell at the end of the sixth round.

'There were times when I was absolutely nailing him and 95 per cent of other super-middleweights would have gone, but he stood there,” Groves said.

'I genuinely thought I'd stop him. I didn't underestimate how good his chin was, but he can really take a punch.'

Promoter Frank Warren revealed that Groves and Billy Joe Saunders will be fighting again in London in February and tipped the former to win a world title by the end of 2013.

Rising star: Billy Joe Saunders moved to 16-0 with a win against Nick Blackwell

Rising star: Billy Joe Saunders moved to 16-0 with a win against Nick Blackwell

Saunders' rapid development continued with a unanimous points victory over former unlicensed fighter Nick Blackwell in the best contest of an entertaining bill.

Blackwell provided the 2008 Olympian with the toughest test of his 16-fight career and stalked down his opponent throughout, but Saunders' classier work saw him prevail 117-112 116-113 115-114 on the scorecards.

The win adds the vacant British middleweight title to his Commonwealth belt and while Saunders is far more advanced in his career, he covets a showdown with Chris Eubank Jr.

'Chris Eubank Jr is arrogant and I want to put him in his place. I didn't like his dad and I don't like him,' Saunders said.

'He's got nothing I want on, but I'd like to beat him because he's arrogant. He keeps calling people out but hasn't boxed anyone yet.'

The defeat was the second of Blackwell's 14-fight career, but the heavy underdog's gutsy performance and superb conditioning ensured he will challenge for British and Commonwealth honours again.

Liam Smith secured the vacant Commonwealth light-middleweight title with a comprehensive points victory over Steve O'Meara.

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George Groves beats Glen Johnson on points

No KO but Groves shows class as he overcomes veteran Johnson to defend title

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UPDATED:

02:30 GMT, 16 December 2012

George Groves came through the toughest test of his career to retain his Commonwealth super-middleweight title with a unanimous points win over veteran Glen Johnson.

Groves, 24, was stepping up to world class level for the first time as a professional and showed his class from the opening bell.

Florida-based Jamaican Johnson, 43, displayed his renowned toughness but was comprehensively beaten on the scorecards by margins of 120-107 twice and 119-109.

Champion: George Groves celebrates his victory over Glen Johnson with David Haye (left)

Champion: George Groves celebrates his victory over Glen Johnson with David Haye (left)

Groves has endured a frustrating year, fighting just once before tonight due to a succession of injuries.

The Londoner twice saw a rematch with Scot Kenny Anderson cancelled while a world title challenge against then WBO champion Robert Stieglitz was also called off.

Groves' inactivity saw him stripped of his British belt which was belatedly won by Anderson when he stopped Robin Reid in October.

His only previous fight this year was a sixth-round stoppage of Francisco Sierra in California in July but a cut suffered in the third session kept him out of action until tonight.

Johnson on the other hand announced his retirement after losing a unanimous 10-round decision to Andrzej Fonfara in July, only to reverse his decision and travel to England for the fifth time in his 71-fight career.

A former world champion at light heavyweight, Johnson is best known on these shores for his trilogy with Clinton Woods but more recently he showed his stubborn resistance against Carl Froch and Lucian Bute in unsuccessfully challenging for their respective world titles.

After winning his first 32 contests as
a professional, Johnson was beaten for the first time, and stopped for
the only time, by Bernard Hopkins in 1997.

Resilient: Johnson (left) withstood the pressure and lost on a points decision

Resilient: Johnson (left) withstood the pressure and lost on a points decision

The defeat took its toll as Johnson lost eight of his subsequent 14 bouts before winning the IBF title from Woods.

Sensational wins over Roy Jones Jnr and Antonio Tarver followed although the latter would go on to exact revenge six months later.

Since then, Johnson has been unable to win another world title but along with his battles with Froch and Bute, he has also pushed Chad Dawson and Tavoris Cloud to the final bell.

And despite losing for the 18th time, he did the same to Groves.

After a tentative opening to the first round, Groves rocked Johnson with a powerful right hand and the visitor spent the remainder of the round tucked up on the ropes as the champion launched assault after assault.

Groves had said in the build-up that he intended to make a statement by stopping Johnson and he drew his adversary into a war in the second session.

But any suggestion that the challenger
would slink off quietly into the night were quickly rubbished as he
began to turn the tide with some punishing body shots.

It
was more of the same in the third round but Groves gradually began to
pick his punches more effectively thanks to his superior footwork. He
did so again in the next session and looked to have Johnson in trouble
with a right hook downstairs.

Punishing: Johnson scored some body shots which were tricky for Groves to deal with

Punishing: Johnson scored some body shots which were tricky for Groves to deal with

The frenetic pace relented in the fifth stanza, although caution was again thrown to the wind in the final thirty seconds as the pair planted their feet and traded.

It was Johnson who served up a reminder of his power as the fight reached the halfway point, momentarily stopping Groves in his tracks.

But the favourite responded brilliantly, rocking the veteran with a left to the body and a right to the head before laying siege until the bell sounded.

Groves sensed blood at the start of
the seventh but Johnson never stopped coming forward, removing any
lingering doubt over his motivation for extending his long career.

Rounds
eight and nine were tight affairs but Groves landed the more eye
catching blows as his right hand induced a slight swelling under his
opponent's left eye.

As the
fight entered the final quarter, the inevitability of it going the
distance grew. Groves was ahead by an unassailable margin and knowing
Johnson needed a knockout to win, he worked efficiently in the
penultimate round, refusing to be drawn in as he had been earlier.

Onwards and upwards: Groves expects to be back in action in February in London

Onwards and upwards: Groves expects to be back in action in February in London

But it was Groves who finished with a flourish, rocking Johnson with a left hook before a right hand sent him to the canvas after a sustained barrage on the ropes.

Johnson was up quickly and the bell sounded immediately after the restart.

Groves, who will be back in action in London in February, admitted he had thrown everything at the durable Johnson in what was his finest performance to date.

'I'm delighted with that performance. Glen Johnson is without doubt the toughest opponent I've faced,' he said.

'I've never hit someone so hard, so often and so clean yet seen them keep coming. I learnt a lot from that fight.

'I made a few mistakes but I believe I showed composure and class to correct them and change the fight.

'I shot my bolt a few times and emptied the tank. I landed flush shots and it looked like he was completely gone, but he survived.

'The bell saved him on one or two occasions. It was about recovering and picking my openings.'

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George Groves confident of stopping Glencoffe Johnson

I'm going to knock him out! Groves confident of stopping Johnson for only second time in his career

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UPDATED:

18:22 GMT, 14 December 2012

George Groves hopes to sound a warning to the super-middleweight division by becoming only the second fighter to stop Glencoffe Johnson at London’s ExCel Arena tomorrow night.

Groves headlines the bill after Ricky Burns’ WBO world lightweight title defence against Jose Ocampo was abandoned for contractual reasons.

It will be the unbeaten 24-year-old’s second outing of a year interrupted by back and nose injuries and the significant cut sustained during his six-round stoppage of Francisco Sierra in July.

Tough: Johnson pushed Froch all the way when they met in 2011, losing by majority decision

Tough: Johnson pushed Froch all the way when they met in 2011, losing by majority decision

Johnson is a 43-year-old veteran of 70 fights and while he has lost 17 times, he only failed to last the distance against Bernard Hopkins in 1997, providing Groves with a target for the fourth defence of his Commonwealth belt.

'I’m ranked highly with all the four major sanctioning bodies so now I’ve arrived in world class I want to build on those rankings,' he said.

'I want to keep my options open with all the organisations so that if any door opens, against any of the champions, I can jump straight in. We’re already knocking loudly.

'Clearly Glencoffe knows how to survive and stopping him would make a huge statement. I do expect to stop him but don’t expect him to just fall over.'

Groves will defend his Commonwealth title against the veteran Jamaican on Saturday

Groves will defend his Commonwealth title against the veteran Jamaican on Saturday

Groves has victories over James DeGale and Paul Smith on his 15-fight record, but Johnson is indifferent in his assessment of his opponent.

'From what I’ve seen I’m not impressed as such, but I respect George as an unbeaten prospect with a lot of potential,' the Jamaican said.

'The way I look at it, the fight isn’t about George Groves. Right now, I feel good about what I can still do. If I fight smart I’m the better fighter. It’ll be up to the judges to do their jobs correctly.'

Groves's biggest win came against rival James DeGale at The O2 Arena in May 2011

Groves's biggest win came against rival James DeGale at The O2 Arena in May 2011

Prospect: Beijing 2008 Olympian Billy Joe Saunders is also on the bill

Prospect: Beijing 2008 Olympian Billy Joe Saunders is also on the bill

Billy Joe Saunders defends his Commonwealth middleweight title and fights for the vacant British belt when he meets former unlicensed boxer Nick Blackwell.

The 23-year-old 2008 Olympian turned professional at the same time as DeGale and Frankie Gavin, but is viewed by many as the most promising of the trio.

'I didn’t really get pro boxing at first. I thought that as long as I stayed hydrated and ate fresh food, I’d be okay. But now I really live the life, take all the right vitamins and supplements,' he said.

He added: 'I’ve not really shown what I’m about in the ring but people at our gym have seen a big improvement.

'Hopefully Blackwell will hang around long enough for me to really show my classy boxing.'

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Nathan Cleverly faces Vyacheslav Uzelkov in Cardiff

Cleverly faces Uzelkov after Hopkins, Shumenov, Froch AND Bellew miss out

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UPDATED:

12:52 GMT, 3 September 2012

Nathan Cleverly will make the fourth defence of his WBO light-heavyweight title against Ukrainian Vyacheslav Uzelkov at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena on October 27.

The Welshman has been out of action since a unanimous points decision over American Tommy Karpency in February.

Cleverly, 25, faces Uzelkov after fights with Bernard Hopkins, Beibut Shumenov, Carl Froch and Tony Bellew all failed to materialise.

Back in action: Nathan Cleverly returns to the ring for the first time since February

Back in action: Nathan Cleverly returns to the ring for the first time since February

Vyacheslav is currently ranked No 9 by the WBO, four by the WBA and seven by the IBF.

As a professional he has amassed a record of 27 wins from 29 fights with 16 stoppages – ten going inside the first three rounds – and is the current WBO Intercontinental champion.

He challenged current WBA world champion Shumenov for his title in July 2010, flooring him in the second round, although Shumenov recovered to win on points.

As a standout amateur he faced David Haye at the 2001 World Championships in Belfast, taking the future world heavyweight champion the distance in the semi-final to lose on points.

Cleverly is looking to put on sparkling performance against Uzelkov to make up for lost time after he had to withdraw from a title defence against Robert Krasniqi in April because of illness.

No go: Bernard Hopkins (left) turned down the chance to fight Cleverly

No go: Bernard Hopkins (left) turned down the chance to fight Cleverly

He said: 'I had a brilliant reception at the Motorpoint Arena in February which was my first fight in Wales for over four years and the fans came out to support me so it’s great to return again for another big fight night in the capital.

'Uzelkov’s ranked in the top ten of three of the major governing bodies and has already mixed it with Shumenov for the world title so I know he’ll be a hard defence for me. I’ve seen some of his fights already and he looks strong and come forward which will be perfect for me.

'Every defence of my title is vital as I build towards a unification fight so I can’t afford to slip up against Uzelkov.'

Promoter Frank Warren had originally agreed terms with Golden Boy Promotions for Bernard Hopkins to face Cleverly, but the American later withdrew and is unlikely to fight again this year.

Champ: Cleverly defends his WBO world title for the fourth time next month

Champ: Cleverly defends his WBO world title for the fourth time next month

Warren also offered the fight to Shumenov to put his WBA title on the line against Cleverly's WBO belt in a unification contest in Las Vegas, but his team could not get a TV date until next year. A further offer was made for Shumenov to come to the UK which he declined.

A huge purse was also put to IBF super-middleweight champion Froch to move up a weight division which he turned down, as did Bellew who rejected the offer of a rematch. The British champion fights Edison Miranda at London's Alexandra Palace on Saturday.

Warren said: 'It’s proved frustrating as we had Hopkins lined up and then he pulled out and Shumenov didn’t want to come over here to fight Cleverly, plus Froch and Bellew didn’t want to know.

'While we look to make these fights Cleverly has got to keep busy as he hasn’t fought since February and Ulezkov is a tough title defence for him.'

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Nathan Cleverly handed Bernard Hopkins title fight boost

Cleverly handed Hopkins boost as promoters line-up potential title showdown

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UPDATED:

11:15 GMT, 2 April 2012

Nathan Cleverly's chances of a summer showdown with Bernard Hopkins have been given a boost by the American legend's promoters.

The Welsh WBO light-heavyweight champion defends his belt at the Royal Albert Hall on April 28 against Robin Krasniqi – the same night Hopkins faces a rematch with Chad Dawson.

Cleverly has long targeted a fight with the 47–year-old veteran and appears close to seeing his dream realised.

Biding his time: Cleverly is hoping to face Hopkins after Krasniqi bout

Biding his time: Cleverly is hoping to face Hopkins after Krasniqi bout

'I've talked to Bernard about Nathan and he said “Look, I'm used to fighting younger guys. Just keep bringing them on”,' said Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer.

'I went with Frank (Warren, Cleverly's promoter) through the some numbers. Now I'll have to go to Bernard and we’ll go through some numbers.

'If the numbers which Frank has outlined to me hold true, I think there's a good chance the fight could take place in the UK, absolutely.

'We don't want to jinx anything – Bernard has a very difficult fight ahead of him against Chad Dawson who's a young, hungry fighter, so let's see what happens.

'But definitely, if everything goes well, I would very much like to make that fight.'

Cleverly, 25, is excited at the prospect of facing Hopkins but is determined to focus on taking care of Krasniqi.

'Frank's the best promoter out there and I leave all the business down to him, I'll fight anyone he puts in front of me and it's my job to keep winning,' he said.

Calling the shots: Cleverly is putting his faith in Warren

Calling the shots: Cleverly is putting his faith in Warren

'It would be a dream to get Hopkins and I'm really buzzing with all the talk about fighting him, but the reality is I'm fighting Krasniqi first which is a very tough fight and if anything goes wrong then a fight against Hopkins will be out of the window.

'It's a crucial title defence for me and I've got to be at my best on the night against Krasniqi. I've got to win and win it in style to prove that I'm ready to challenge a great like Hopkins.'

Warren meanwhile is confident he can make the fight happen.

'Of course Hopkins wants a big pay day and he will get one,' he said. 'It would be a tough fight but even if he (Cleverly) got beat, so what

'He is young enough to come again. Even if you lose a fight it is how you lose a fight – and I just feel for Nathan it would be a great fight for him to take.

'I think styles make fights and I think if the opportunity comes for Nathan Cleverly to fight Bernard Hopkins, it is a fight he should take.

'It will be a tough, tough fight for him but I think his youth and his speed is the key to winning the fight.

Rematch: Hopkins will face Dawson following the TKO defeat

Rematch: Hopkins will face Dawson following the TKO defeat

'I think we can make the fight. I've been talking to Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy and it was him who suggested the fight to me.

'Hopkins will get a big pay day and where is he going to fight where they are to draw 40,000 to 50,000 people There isn't anywhere in America where that is going to happen.

'So the money is there to be made. I know HBO (American TV channel) will be very interested in the fight and Box Nation will be prepared to step up to the plate as well to ensure Nathan got his opportunity to unify the titles.'

Cleverly v Krasniqi and Hopkins v Dawson are live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546) on Saturday, April 28 from 7.30pm.

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Nathan Cleverly could fight at Royal Albert Hall

Warren hoping for Cleverly to help bring boxing back to Royal Albert Hall

Promoter Frank Warren hopes to set Nathan Cleverly up with a big summer bout against Bernard Hopkins in Cardiff, and also wants the Welshman to help him take professional boxing back to the Royal Albert Hall for the first time in over a decade in April.

Cleverly enjoyed a superb homecoming performance on Saturday night as he completely outclassed American challenger Tommy Karpency to retain his WBO light-heavyweight crown at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff with a unanimous verdict from the judges.

Triumphant: Nathan Cleverly celebrates after beating Tommy Karpency

Triumphant: Nathan Cleverly celebrates after beating Tommy Karpency

The 25-year-old's work-rate and accuracy was such he was awarded every single round on all three scorecards and the Caerphilly fighter has already spoken of his desire to move on to a big unification fight, with the winner of the April 28 WBC title clash between Chad Dawson and Hopkins top of the agenda.

While Warren is looking to put that contest on at the Millennium Stadium or Cardiff City Stadium, he also revealed he hopes the Welshman will defend his belt in London, also on April 28.

Warren said: 'Nathan is coming on in leaps and bounds and all our attention will now of course turn to April 28 and the Bernard Hopkins V Chad Dawson fight, then we will be making a big decision about a fight in the summer.

'In the meantime I have the Royal Albert Hall booked for April 28.

'I don't know if Nathan will be ready for that but I would not mind him being the guy to take boxing back there.

Trio: Karpency (left), promoter Frank Warren (centre) and Cleverly (right), before the fight

Trio: Karpency (left), promoter Frank Warren (centre) and Cleverly (right), before the fight

'There has been no professional boxing there for many, many years, it is probably the best venue in the country, the most prestigious venue and you could not get a better representative for British boxing than Nathan, to showcase taking professional boxing back there.'

As for a potential summer stadium bout in south Wales, which would hark back to the glory days of former super middleweight king Joe Calzaghe, Warren says his preferred opponent for such a contest is Hopkins, and defeat to Dawson would not rule the veteran American out of facing Cleverly.

He said: 'For me the best fight for Nathan would be Hopkins.

'I have a feeling Dawson may upset the odds when they face each other, he will give him a lot of problems, but I would prefer Hopkins.

'He is a big name, he had a good fight with Joe Calzaghe and if we brought him over and did that show at Cardiff City Stadium or the Millennium Stadium, it would be a great atmosphere with maybe 50,000 people in there.

Bigger things: Cleverly's victory means he is now eying up a fight against Bernard Hopkins

Bigger things: Cleverly's victory means he is now eying up a fight against Bernard Hopkins

'Nathan needs big fights, he rises to them and he has great temperament.'

Cleverly, whose victory extended his 100% record to 24 wins from 24 fights, said he would gladly accept the chance to fight Hopkins, and also suggested he would be ready to fight again on Warren's mooted Royal Albert Hall date.

'I want to go and get a few more fights as champion to keep learning about being world champion,' he said. 'This wasn't a brutal fight so I will be fine for April, it will be good to keep active.'

He added: 'I think I am ready to be unified champ.

'Hopkins and Dawson are the elite guys in the division, if you want to be the best those are guys you have to head for.

'I think I will be ready by the summer, if the opportunity came I would grab it with both hands and feel I could win the fight.

'Hopkins is a legend of the sport, an icon in the division, he has that aura. The fans showed their support by coming out tonight and I am sure that would be a good fight.'

Nathan Cleverly beats Tommy Karpency

Cleverly continues Welsh celebrations after beating Karpency on points to retain crown

Nathan Cleverly celebrated his long-awaited homecoming with a unanimous points victory over Tommy Karpency at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena.

The WBO light-heavyweight champion was fighting in Wales for the first time since 2007 and he ensured the boisterous home crowd's euphoric celebrations could continue after England were earlier beaten at Twickenham in the Six Nations.

Cleverly was awarded every round during a comfortable night's work and will now set his sights on a summer showdown in the Welsh capital against American legend and WBC title holder Bernard Hopkins.

On the attack: Cleverly lands a body shot on his opponent

On the attack: Cleverly lands a body shot on his opponent

The 25-year-old, clearly buoyed on by the passionate crowd, was quickly out of the blocks as he took the first round, but not without being caught by Karpency.

After the disgraceful scenes involving Dereck Chisora and David Haye in Munich last weekend, Cleverly had the chance to restore some of British boxing's reputation and he moved downstairs in the second session as he stepped up the pressure.

Karpency's body began to show signs of distress and the champion continued his assault in the third round, controlling the centre of the ring and pinning the American to the ropes.

Breaching the defence: Cleverly scythes through Karpency to land a left jab

Breaching the defence: Cleverly scythes through Karpency to land a left jab

Cleverly remained dominant as the durable but limited Karpency struggled to find a way through the Welshman's guard. The challenger, who is also a trained nurse, seemed content merely to survive and had little answer to the champion's furious flurry of punches.

As the fight reached it's halfway stage, Cleverly began to find more success with his stinging left hook against the southpaw from Adah who responded with the occasional right jab. The challenger had his best round of the fight in the seventh stanza however, as he frustrated his unbeaten opponent.

But Cleverly's superior work rate saw him return to his dominant ways in rounds eight and nine with Karpency happy to stand with his back to the ropes and endure several sustained attacks. A brief delay in round 10 to allow the American's glove to be taped saw Cleverly salute the home crowd as the noise levels rocketed.

Close combat: Karpency and Cleverly get stuck in

Close combat: Karpency and Cleverly get stuck in

The final two rounds followed a similar pattern to the rest of the bout with the Welsh favourite letting his hands go only for his opponent to withstand the barrage. The visiting corner felt they had cause for complaint in the final session however when the referee again paused the bout due a flailing piece of tape, just as Karpency was in the ascendancy.

Although the fight went to the scorecards, the result was never in doubt and Cleverly was declared the winner by a huge margin on 120-108 on each of the three scorecards.

Dodging a bullet: Karpency narrowly avoids Cleverly's uppercut

Dodging a bullet: Karpency narrowly avoids Cleverly's uppercut

Earlier, former WBO cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli continued on the comeback trail when he stopped Ciaran Healy in the second round. The Swansea fighter twice had his opponent on the canvas in before the Northern Irishman's corner threw in the towel. Maccarinelli, who lost his father Mario last month, has struggled since his crushing defeat to David Haye in 2008, losing three of his subsequent six fights.

Birmingham welterweight Frankie Gavin made his first appearance since a split-decision victory over Curtis Woodhouse last July. The 26-year-old has been beset by personal problems but Britain's only world amateur champion returned with a third-round stoppage over Scotland's Kevin McIntyre. A crashing right hand to the Paisley man's body brought the fight to a premature end.

Victory: Enzo Maccarinelli looks on as Ciaran Healy is given a count

Victory: Enzo Maccarinelli looks on as Ciaran Healy is given a count

Elsewhere on a packed undercard, Liverpool's Liam Smith enjoyed a routine win over Paul Morby over eight rounds while the first fight of the evening saw the highly-rated Liam Williams outpoint Tommy Tolan in his second professional fight.

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Cleverly continues Welsh celebrations after beating Karpency on points to retain crown

Cleverly continues Welsh celebrations after beating Karpency on points to retain crown

Nathan Cleverly celebrated his long-awaited homecoming with a unanimous points victory over Tommy Karpency at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena.

The WBO light-heavyweight champion was fighting in Wales for the first time since 2007 and he ensured the boisterous home crowd's euphoric celebrations could continue after England were earlier beaten at Twickenham in the Six Nations.

Cleverly was awarded every round during a comfortable night's work and will now set his sights on a summer showdown in the Welsh capital against American legend and WBC title holder Bernard Hopkins.

On the attack: Cleverly lands a body shot on his opponent

On the attack: Cleverly lands a body shot on his opponent

The 25-year-old, clearly buoyed on by the passionate crowd, was quickly out of the blocks as he took the first round, but not without being caught by Karpency.

After the disgraceful scenes involving Dereck Chisora and David Haye in Munich last weekend, Cleverly had the chance to restore some of British boxing's reputation and he moved downstairs in the second session as he stepped up the pressure.

Karpency's body began to show signs of distress and the champion continued his assault in the third round, controlling the centre of the ring and pinning the American to the ropes.

Breaching the defence: Cleverly scythes through Karpency to land a left jab

Breaching the defence: Cleverly scythes through Karpency to land a left jab

Cleverly remained dominant as the durable but limited Karpency struggled to find a way through the Welshman's guard. The challenger, who is also a trained nurse, seemed content merely to survive and had little answer to the champion's furious flurry of punches.

As the fight reached it's halfway stage, Cleverly began to find more success with his stinging left hook against the southpaw from Adah who responded with the occasional right jab. The challenger had his best round of the fight in the seventh stanza however, as he frustrated his unbeaten opponent.

But Cleverly's superior work rate saw him return to his dominant ways in rounds eight and nine with Karpency happy to stand with his back to the ropes and endure several sustained attacks. A brief delay in round 10 to allow the American's glove to be taped saw Cleverly salute the home crowd as the noise levels rocketed.

Close combat: Karpency and Cleverly get stuck in

Close combat: Karpency and Cleverly get stuck in

The final two rounds followed a similar pattern to the rest of the bout with the Welsh favourite letting his hands go only for his opponent to withstand the barrage. The visiting corner felt they had cause for complaint in the final session however when the referee again paused the bout due a flailing piece of tape, just as Karpency was in the ascendancy.

Although the fight went to the scorecards, the result was never in doubt and Cleverly was declared the winner by a huge margin on 120-108 on each of the three scorecards.

Dodging a bullet: Karpency narrowly avoids Cleverly's uppercut

Dodging a bullet: Karpency narrowly avoids Cleverly's uppercut

Earlier, former WBO cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli continued on the comeback trail when he stopped Ciaran Healy in the second round. The Swansea fighter twice had his opponent on the canvas in before the Northern Irishman's corner threw in the towel. Maccarinelli, who lost his father Mario last month, has struggled since his crushing defeat to David Haye in 2008, losing three of his subsequent six fights.

Birmingham welterweight Frankie Gavin made his first appearance since a split-decision victory over Curtis Woodhouse last July. The 26-year-old has been beset by personal problems but Britain's only world amateur champion returned with a third-round stoppage over Scotland's Kevin McIntyre. A crashing right hand to the Paisley man's body brought the fight to a premature end.

Victory: Enzo Maccarinelli looks on as Ciaran Healy is given a count

Victory: Enzo Maccarinelli looks on as Ciaran Healy is given a count

Elsewhere on a packed undercard, Liverpool's Liam Smith enjoyed a routine win over Paul Morby over eight rounds while the first fight of the evening saw the highly-rated Liam Williams outpoint Tommy Tolan in his second professional fight.