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Nathan Cleverly v Robin Krasniqi and Dereck Chisora v Hector Avila – LIVE

LIVE BOXING: Nathan Cleverly v Robin Krasniqi and Dereck Chisora v Hector Avila

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

03:00 GMT, 20 April 2013

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UPDATED:

19:17 GMT, 20 April 2013

Nathan Cleverly fights on home soil for the first time in 14 months when he takes on his mandatory challenger Robin Krasniqi over 12 rounds at Wembley Arena.

The WBO light-heavyweight champion is joined on a stacked card by Dereck Chisora, Liam Walsh and Scott Harrison along with a number of promising young fighters.

Email your thoughts on the big fight to [email protected] or via @martin_domin

8.15pm: Harrison's punches are beginning to carry an air of desperation as Walsh slips and slides his way out of trouble while landing his own to the body. He has extended his lead as we enter the penultimate round.

8.05pm: Halfway through this 10-round contest and I have Walsh just in front. He's landing more accurately, even if Harrison looks to be throwing more punches.

8pm: The saying goes that a boxer's power is the last skill to go and if that is the case, Harrison could be heading for the retirement home. He lands a left hook flush in the fourth but Walsh laughs it off.

I get the feeling that Walsh will be happy to take this into the later rounds when his superior stamina should come into play.

Early action: Liam Walsh (right) misses with a right against Scott Harrison

Early action: Liam Walsh (right) misses with a right against Scott Harrison

7.50pm: Harrison started well in the opening round and looked to land the right hand. Walsh's left eye was cut after a clash of heads but the Scot did enough to take the session.

Walsh was livelier in the second and Harrison was admonished by the referee for failing to stop when requested. The champion then had the better of the exchanges.

7.40pm: Welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of a packed card at Wembley Arena in London.

Scott Harrison has just made his entrance ahead of his clash with WBO European champion Liam Walsh.

The Glaswegian takes on the unbeaten 26-year-old in his third fight since returning from a near seven-year absence.

Great Britain's Nathan Cleverly (left) is pulled away as he faces his challenger Germany's Robert Krasniqi

Ricky Burns versus Miguel Vazquez rescheduled

Burns' title clash with Vazquez rescheduled for April after Mexican eats dodgy seafood

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

01:10 GMT, 4 March 2013

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UPDATED:

21:05 GMT, 4 March 2013

Ricky Burns' world title unification fight against Miguel Vazquez has been rescheduled for April 20.

The Scot was due to tackle the IBF lightweight champion at Wembley Arena on March 16 but the Mexican has been suffering from a severe viral infection after contracting food poisoning from seafood.

Nathan Cleverly's mandatory world light-heavyweight title defence against Robin Krasniqi has also been moved to the later date.

Disappointed: Ricky Burns' fight with Miguel Vazquez has been rescheduled for April 20 at Wembley Arena

Disappointed: Ricky Burns' fight with Miguel Vazquez has been rescheduled for April 20 at Wembley Arena

A doctor's report dated February 25, seen by Sportsmail, revealed that Vazquez presented with a temperature of 40C along with sickness and a fast heart rate. He was advised to rest for at least 10 days.

Promoter Frank Warren said: 'It’s very unfortunate that Vazquez has had to withdraw so close to the fight, but it is on medical grounds, which is beyond my control, due to his viral infection, and we have his doctor’s certificate confirming this.

'Therefore I have had to postpone the fight, not canceled as stated in some media reports, to Saturday April 20 at Wembley Arena. Everybody is disappointed by this postponement, but we have worked hard to ensure that Ricky’s unification fight still goes ahead.'

Burns, who holds the WBO belt, had earlier revealed his disappointment at the news.

He tweeted: 'Absolutely gutted this fight ain't happening, another training camp n it's fell through! Not only that, feel sorry for the fans, my friends and family who have now booked tickets, flights and hotels for 2 fights for it to fall through. Sorry every1!'

Switch: George Groves will announce his move to rival promoter Matchroom

Switch: George Groves will announce his move to rival promoter Matchroom

The 29-year-old had been due to fight first Liam Walsh and then Jose Ocampo last December but both pulled out at short notice.

His fight with Vazquez was announced in January but last month the Mexican cast doubt over whether it would go ahead.

'There
is nothing concrete,' he said. 'I am waiting on the response from the
promoters. If they come to an agreement, there will be a fight.'

The announcement follows the shock defection of George Groves to rival promoter Eddie Hearn which is expected to be confirmed on Monday.

The super-middleweight was also due
to fight on the London card but will instead fight a week earlier at the
same venue on Matchroom's 'London's Finest' bill.

Last man standing: Nathan Cleverly's title defence against Robin Krasniqi has also been rescheduled

Last man standing: Nathan Cleverly's title defence against Robin Krasniqi has also been rescheduled

A statement from Warren Promotions
confirmed: 'George Groves has withdrawn from the Wembley Arena show
promoted by Frank Warren on Saturday March 16.

'Groves was due to challenge for the vacant European super-middleweight title against Mohamed Ali Ndiaye that Mr. Warren won the purse bid for on January 11.

'Groves has stated that he is not interested in boxing for the EBU title at this moment and would like to take his choice of fights in another direction.

'Mr Warren would like to wish George all the best with his career and looks forward to working again with him in the near future.'

Cleverly is also reported to have been suffering from a virus which left him unable to train for five days while Dereck Chisora remains hopeful of returning to the ring next month but has yet to have his hearing with the British Boxing Board of Control after his license was revoked last year.

Nathan Cleverly ready for biggest fight of his career

Cleverly to announce biggest fight of his career as world champion nears return

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UPDATED:

07:28 GMT, 15 July 2012

Nathan Cleverly is preparing for the biggest fight of his career ahead of his return to the ring in October.

The WBO light heavyweight champion has been out of action since his facile win over American Tommy Karpency in February.

A planned title defence against Robin Krasniqi at the Royal Albert Hall in April was called off after the Welshman took ill.

Big one: Nathan Cleverly is preparing to make the next defence of his title

Big one: Nathan Cleverly is preparing to make the next defence of his title

And although Cleverly was unable to confirm his next opponent, he told Sportsmail: 'It could be a unification fight.

'We're going to announce it next week and I’m liking the sound of this one.

'I can’t say where the fight is going to be but it’s going to be good. It's definitely going to be the biggest fight of my career.

Job done: Cleverly easily outpointed Tommy Karpency in Cardiff

Job done: Cleverly easily outpointed Tommy Karpency in Cardiff

'I've had a few months off freshening up. I've been on holiday and enjoying my life. Physically and mentally I've had a break. I went to Spain on two occasions, once to train and another with my friends.

'I'm in the gym and feeling the best I’ve ever felt to be honest'

Bernand Hopkins hands Nathan Cleverly hope after vowing not to quit

Hopkins hands Cleverly hope of summer showdown after refusing to quit

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UPDATED:

08:39 GMT, 1 May 2012

Bernard Hopkins has boosted Nathan Cleverly's hopes of fighting him for the world championship after insisting he will not quit boxing despite his WBC light-heavyweight title defeat to Chad Dawson.

The veteran 47-year-old former two-weight champion – who once vowed to retire at 40 – is refusing to throw in the towel on his illustrious career and is keen to be crowned champion again.

Hopkins, whose record now stands at 52-6 and two draws – lost a majority decision to Dawson last Saturday in Atlantic City.

Not giving up: Bernanrd Hopkins is refusing to quit despite his defeat to Chad Dawson

Not giving up: Bernanrd Hopkins is refusing to quit despite his defeat to Chad Dawson

But he has rebuffed any ideas of calling it quits, leaving the door open for a lucrative summer showdown – possibly in Cardiff – against WBO champion Cleverly.

'I fought hard Saturday night and feel the fight was closer than two of the scores reflected,' said Hopkins, speaking to Sky Sports.

'I might be older, but I don't feel a decline in my skills or abilities in the ring.

Carrying on: Veteran Hopkins insists he loves to fight, handing Nathan Cleverly hope of a summer showdown

Carrying on: Veteran Hopkins insists he loves to fight, handing Nathan Cleverly hope of a summer showdown

'I love to fight and am still competing at a level where boxing cannot deny me the opportunity to succeed.'

Cleverly was forced to abandon his title defence against Robin Krasniqi at the Royal Albert Hall last weekend due to a virus but is keen to eventually test himself against Hopkins.

Nathan Cleverly withdraws world title defence against Robin Krasniqi due to virus

Virus forces Cleverly to pull out of Albert Hall title showdown with Krasniqi

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

13:53 GMT, 17 April 2012

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UPDATED:

13:56 GMT, 17 April 2012

Nathan Cleverly has been forced to withdraw from his WBO Light-Heavyweight title defence against Robin Krasniqi at the Royal Albert Hall due to a viral infection.

The unbeaten Welshman was scheduled to face Kosovan Krasniqi on Saturday 28th April in London, but has been unable to train for his fourth title defence.

Cleverly said: 'I've been unable to train because I've been laid up in bed with a viral infection and there's not enough time to make up what I've missed in training to make sure I'm fully fit.

Disappointment: Nathan Cleverly has been forced to pull out of his world title fight at the Royal Albert Hall due to a virus

Disappointment: Nathan Cleverly has been forced to pull out of his world title fight at the Royal Albert Hall due to a virus

'I've taken the advice of my doctor and been told to fully rest before attempting to start training again.

'I'm really disappointed because I was looking forward to being the first fighter to bring boxing back to the Royal Albert Hall in over a decade and the first of the century.

'It was a big night for me as Hopkins was facing Dawson on the same night and I was looking to do a good job on Krasniqi to get a fight with the winner.

'I'm sorry for my fans, but I'm happy that the show will go on and a great talent like Billy Joe Saunders will now be topping the card along with Sam Webb and Matthew Hall which looks like a cracking fight.

No show: Cleverly won't headline the Royal Albert Hall's first boxing night for 13 years

No show: Cleverly won't headline the Royal Albert Hall's first boxing night for 13 years

Billy Joe Saunders headlines the first night of professional championship boxing to be held at the world famous venue in nearly 13 years when he takes on Tony Hill for the Vacant English Middleweight title.

Saunders, the Southern Area Middleweight champion, said, 'This is a great chance for me to shine on the show and show my potential.

Topping the bill: Billy Joe Suanders will headline the Royal Albert Hall bill

Topping the bill: Billy Joe Suanders will headline the Royal Albert Hall bill

'I'm Britain's next star in the making and to now headline the Royal Albert Hall is dream come true for me and I will put on a fight to remember against Hill.'

Joint top of the bill on the show will also see Sam Webb in a final eliminator for the British Light-Middleweight Championship against Manchester's hard-hitting Matthew Hall.

Promoter Frank Warren added, 'It's such a shame that Cleverly has been hit with a viral infection and at a crucial time in his training and career.

'He is unable to fight and he now needs to have a good rest, get himself healthy and resume training before we look to reschedule his title defence.

'However, Billy Joe Saunders, who is one of the best young talents in Britain right now, is hungry and ready to prove that he is next big thing and this is the perfect occasion for him to do this.

The rest of the card features some of the best talent in Britain including unbeaten welterweight Bradley Skeete; hard-hitting super-middleweight Frank Buglioni, light-welterweight Bradley Saunders; welterweights Freddie Turner and Dean Byrne.

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.

Nathan Cleverly fight against Robin Krasniqi in doubt

Cleverly's defence against Krasniqi in doubt just hours after Royal Albert Hall unveiling

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UPDATED:

16:58 GMT, 20 March 2012

Nathan Cleverly’s defence of his WBO light-heavyweight title against Robin Krasniqi has been thrown into doubt after the governing body refused to sanction the fight.

Nathan Cleverly to fight Robin Krasniqi at Royal Albert Hall

London calling for Cleverly with title defence against Krasniqi at Royal Albert Hall

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UPDATED:

13:53 GMT, 20 March 2012

Nathan Cleverly will defend his WBO light-heavyweight title against Robin Krasniqi at London's Royal Albert Hall on April 28.

The 25-year-old Welshman retained his belt with a unanimous points decision over American Tommy Karpency in Cardiff last month.

Should Cleverly come through his latest assignment, he will set his sights on the winner of Bernard Hopkins' rematch with Chad Dawson, scheduled for the same night.

London calling: Nathan Cleverly will defend his title at the Royal Albert Hall

London calling: Nathan Cleverly will defend his title at the Royal Albert Hall

'The fight will be the first at the iconic London venue since 1999 when Marco Antonio Barrera faced Paul Lloyd and Cleverly is looking forward to his return to the capital.

‘I’ve got great memories of fighting in London,’ he told Sportsmail. ‘I’ve loved it every time and always had great fights. I’ve never gone the distance here so that’s a good omen. Hopefully I can keep that trend going, and I think I can.

‘The Royal Albert Hall has a lot of history and it will give me that coliseum effect and I’ll feel like a gladiator going into battle. It has a great history with the fighters there, Lennox Lewis, Frank Bruno, Prince Naseem Hamed and Joe Calzaghe. Even Pavarotti has sung there! It’s a good list to add my name to.’