WBO world light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly defends his crown this coming Saturday against Shawn Hawk at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, featuring on the undercard of the highly anticipated super-bantamweight clash between Abner Mares and Anselmo Moreno. Why this is even a title fight is anyone’s guess, but there you go.
Cleverly’s career, to say the least, has stagnated. Strangely, it’s gone down hill ever since he laid his hands on one of the world title belts. From tough fights with Karo Murat and Nadjib Mohammedi, to fights against Tommy Karpency and Shawn Hawk. It must be noted, and I think this is a point that must be taken on board, this is not Cleverly’s fault. He just fights who is put in front of him, and he can do nothing more than beat them and hope that his next fight is a big one. He’s been left hoping for a while now.
His promoter, Frank Warren, while doing a tremendous job with current lightweight champion Ricky Burns, has done a quite awful job with Nathan Cleverly. So much so that Cleverly’s reign as a world champion is, rightfully, being lauded as a joke.
Fights against the likes of the aforementioned Tommy Karpency and Shawn Hawk do nothing to prove to anyone that Cleverly is a worthy belt holder.
It’s been a terrible year for Nathan. A year spent on the sidelines with injury, and by the time 2013 rolls in his record will show two fights in 2012 against two fighters who in all honesty should never be in the ring fighting for world honours.
His fight this weekend has been rightly criticised and even though Hawk is a replacement opponent after Ryan Coyne withdrew because of contractual problems, that fight wasn’t much better. Had this bout been a 10 rounder with the belt not on the line, then I think many would have been more understanding.
With all that said, it is still an opportunity for Cleverly to impress on a big bill across the Atlantic. He’s a TV friendly fighter when matched correctly, and from the little I’ve seen of Hawk, providing he comes to fight, Cleverly should endear himself to the American public.
A win over Hawk may not put him in line to face the fighters on his wish list, but an impressive and entertaining performance will have Showtime (the TV network broadcasting the fight) eager to have him on their screens again. If you’re in demand to appear on a TV network, the likelihood is that the big fights will follow. So I guess there is a positive spin you can put on this fight, but it doesn’t make it any better.
Former WBA world heavyweight champion David Haye will enter the UK reality TV show “I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!” which starts this Sunday.
I’m sure many fans, myself included, would much rather see Haye give the jungle a miss and re-enter the squared circle, but for Haye, a man who is more than likely to have a some-what sour image with the British public, this is an opportunity to improve said image. And he gets a reported £75,000 for this as well.
After his antics in the build up to the Wladimir Klitschko fight, and his incident in Munich, there is no doubt that Haye’s public image has taken a knock. This is his chance to right that.
I hope loads of people call in and vote for him to do tasks. Let’s see if he blames his toe when he can’t do it….Sorry, had to be said.
Freddie Flintoff’s pro-debut is almost upon us. Oh, joy.
Roll out the red carpet for a former cricketer leaching off the sport for publicity, make him the main event of a promotion AND put him on TV. Yes, that is what is happening.
I understand why he’s on TV – he brings in “casual viewers” – but so does Prizefighter, apparently, and I hate that as well.
What’s more, a Commonwealth welterweight title bout between Ronnie Heffron and Denton Vassell – a good fight – will be providing ‘support’ for Flintoff. Deary me. Two guys who have given their all for the sport reduced to ‘supporting’ a cricketer-turned-boxer who would probably still be playing cricket if he could – he has injury problems which prevent him from doing so supposedly.
Oh, and please don’t compare footballer-turned-boxer Curtis Woodhouse to this farce. Woodhouse never entered the sport and looked to make a 2 part documentary on his fortunes. And nor did he receive any special treatment. Woodhouse has been made to do things the hard way since becoming a boxer, Flintoff should have to do the same.
Here’s the thing, though, Flintoff won’t be in boxing long enough to do anything – one fight and a documentary will be enough publicity for the leach.
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