Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Cleverly vows to stay focused on road to unification
Light heavyweight titleholder Nathan Cleverly says he won't risk a summer unification payday by sleeping on his upcoming defense.
WBO light heavyweight titleholder Nathan Cleverly has vowed to stay focused on his next defense -- against unfancied American Tommy Karpency -- as he looks towards a major unification clash later in the year.
The undefeated Welshman is a red-hot favorite to retain his title for a third time when he meets 25-year-old southpaw Karpency (21-2-1, 14 knockouts) on Feb. 25 in front of a partisan home crowd at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.
But Cleverly insists he is taking nothing for granted with a possible summer showdown at stake, against either WBC titleholder Bernard Hopkins or WBA champ Beibut Shumenov. With a standout display next month, Cleverly (23-0, 11 KOs) is convinced he will be well on the road to a signicant future payday.
"It's just a matter of not getting careless and to keep on winning,“ said the 24-year-old from Cefn Fforests. “No, he (Karpency) wasn't my first-choice opponent. We had a list of fighters and we tried a few others, but obviously negotiations fell through. We tried Shumenov but that fell through. That was my first choice, that was the one I wanted because he is the WBA champion.
“But for me it was always a case of coming home and fighting. I wasn't bothered who stepped in because every fighter is a potential threat. For me, it’s about making a big statement -- at home in Wales.
“I hope for a big summer showdown, with a big name in the division. Bernard Hopkins is potentially in the pipeline. But I have get on with the business. It’s a matter of winning -- and performing.”