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Nathan Cleverly proud of Wales sporting achievement

Pride of Wales! Cleverly keen to keep the flag flying after difficult period for British boxing

Nathan Cleverly is determined to play his part in a stunning Welsh hat-trick later this month.

The WBO light heavyweight champion faces American Tommy Karpency at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena on February 25.

Just hours earlier, Wales clash with England at Twickenham in the Six Nations before Cardiff take on Liverpool in the Carling Cup final at Wembley on the Sunday.

Ready for action: Nathan Cleverly is preparing for his first fight at home since 2007

Ready for action: Nathan Cleverly is preparing for his first fight at home since 2007

'It's a great weekend of sport and it's great to be involved,' Cleverly, 24, told Sportsmail. 'I can see why there could be potential pressure on me but I'm just enoying the occasion, which I think will enhance my performance.'

Cleverly fights in Wales for the first time since 2007 and is excited at the prospect of defending his world title on home soil.

'It's a big deal for myself, and for Welsh boxing; hopefully we can bring the glory days back to Wales. To come home as world champion is a special occasion.

'Training is going well, everything is on track. It's just a case of focusing for the last three weeks.'

Pride: The world light-heavyweight champion is one of few Britons to hold on to his belt recently

Pride: The world light-heavyweight champion is one of few Britons to hold on to his belt recently

Cleverly is expected to have a comfortable night against Karpency but the American has never been stopped in his 24-fight career.

'He [Karpency] is tough,' he admitted. 'He has operated at cruiserweight so he's a strong fighter. He's got not nothing to lose and there's no pressure on him, so he's potentially dangerous. He's a trained fighter so he's capable of causing an upset just like anyone else.'

Should the Welshman come through unscathed, he will immediately set his sights on bigger fights later in the year.

'After this fight we'll be looking to get straight on the case and have a unification fight in the summer.

'Bernard Hopkins is regarded as No 1 in the division and I know he's got a big fight with Chad Dawson coming up. These guys are the ones you target to become the best you can.'

Meanwhile, Carl Froch has ruled out fighting Cleverly in a British blockbuster in Wales.

Cleverly's promoter Frank Warren had suggested that the pair could meet at Cardiff's City's ground this summer.

But Froch, who lost his WBC super middleweight title to Andre Ward in December, has no plans to move up in weight.

Not likely: Super middleweight Carl Froch isn't interested in stepping up to fight Cleverly

Not likely: Super middleweight Carl Froch isn't interested in stepping up to fight Cleverly

'Nobody's interested in talk about me stepping up to light-heavyweight to fight Nathan Cleverly,' he said.

'It's boring, there's big fights for me – Mikkel Kessler, Lucien Bute, there's more names I could roll off the tongue that would make people interested.

'We want to be fighting in Nottingham for a nice steady comeback fight, I don't have easy fights but I'll have a nice steady comeback and then look to challenge for a world title soon.'

Frank Warren wants Carl Froch to fight Nathan Cleverly

Warren wants Froch to take on Cleverly in British blockbuster

Frank Warren has challenged Carl Froch to put his defeat to Andre Ward behind him and take on Nathan Cleverly in a British blockbuster this summer.

Froch lost his WBC super middleweight title to potential American superstar Ward in New Jersey last month and is eyeing up IBF champion Lucian Bute for his next bout.

But Warren wants the Nottingham fighter to step up in weight to meet Welshman Cleverly at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Plans: Frank Warren wants Carl Froch to face Nathan Cleverly in the summer

Plans: Frank Warren wants Carl Froch to face Nathan Cleverly in the summer

Beaten: Froch was beaten by Andre Ward in December

Beaten: Froch was beaten by Andre Ward in December

The promoter said: ‘I would like to see Nathan fight again in early June at Cardiff City’s ground in a big open-air show and if Carl Froch wants to step up a weight and fight him then I’d take that fight in a heartbeat, he’s made for Nathan.

‘Then I’d be looking for Nathan to have a unification fight hopefully in September against one of the other title holders [Bernand Hopkins or Beibut Shumenov].

‘I aim to bring big-time boxing shows back to Wales regularly again and Nathan is the man to spearhead that.

‘With Nathan it’s about the right time and the right moment, picking up the experience and confidence, winning and unifying titles as we go towards bigger things.’

The WBO light heavyweight champion from Cefn Forest must first defend his title against American Tommy Karpency on February 25 at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.

‘Karpency is a hard fight for Nathan, but it will bring out the best in him and it will be a sparkling homecoming,’ Warren added.

‘He’s only had a few fights as a world champion since winning the title and first I want to establish him in Wales so the fans get to see their new star in action again.

Blow: Froch admitted the better man won

Blow: Froch admitted the better man won

Blazing: Cleverly plans on reigniting Welsh boxing

Blazing: Cleverly plans on reigniting Welsh boxing

‘Nathan’s fought around the country in
the last few years and showed a lot of grit and determination in going
to Liverpool last time out against Tony Bellew so now he deserves a
homecoming fight.

‘I aim to bring big-time boxing shows back to Wales regularly again and Nathan is the man to spearhead that.’

Cleverly will make the third defence of his title and will fight at home for the first time in four years.

He said: ‘I aim to reignite Welsh boxing again and bring back the glory days when Joe Calzaghe was fighting in the city and I want to keep it going for a good few years.

‘I remember when I was boxing on Joe’s undercards and the buzz in the city on fight day was amazing, this is what I want to bring back.

‘Frank’s got big plans for me and to fight at Cardiff City’s ground would be a dream. I’m still only 24 and time is on my side to achieve a lot of things. I know the big super-fights will come, I’ve just got to keep putting on good displays and we are progressively getting there.

‘In the meantime I can’t be complacent by taking my eye off the ball and let Karpency upsets the plans.

‘I saw Karo Murat’s fight against Karpency when I was preparing for my fight against Murat and I saw that he’s a southpaw, tough, rugged and strong and he’ll come to have a fight with me, but I’ll break him down and look good doing it.’