Harry Pratt

WBO sanction Cleverly-Krasniq as Welshman targets Hopkins

The World Boxing Organization has agreed to sanction the next defense of light heavyweight titleholder Nathan Cleverly, against Serbian-born German Robin Krasniq, at the Royal Albert Hall, London, April 28.

WBO president Francisco Valcarcel initially refused to give the seal of approval to Cleverly versus Krasniq

(37-2, 13 knockouts), insisting the undefeated Welshman was supposed to meet its mandatory challenger, Dmitry Sukhotsky, of Russia. However, the stalemate has been resolved following talks between the organisation and Cleverly’s promoter Frank Warren.

“I’m glad it’s all sorted out and I can now fully focus on Krasniqi for my title defense,” said 25-year-old Cleverly (24-0,11 KOs). “”This is a hard test for me – he’s had 39 fights with only two early points losses and hasn’t been stopped before, so I’m preparing for the hard 12 rounds. I need to win this fight in style as I want Bernard Hopkins in Wales.”

Warren has confirmed negotiations with Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer are underway regards 47-year-old RING champion and WBC holder Hopkins, who also fights April 28 against Chad Dawson, facing Cleverly in the UK later this year.

“Hopkins is in action against Dawson on the same night and Richard and I have had discussions about the winners, which hopefully should be Hopkins and Cleverly, fighting each other next,” said Warren.

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