5th November 2012

Nathan Cleverly will defend his WBO World light-heavyweight title against Shawn Hawk at the Staples Center, Los Angeles on Saturday night, live on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).

The American, 28, steps in at short notice and replaces Ryan Coyne who was forced out of the big showdown because of contractual problems.
Welsh ring idol Cleverly said: “He has a good record with a high KO ratio. So he’s a big puncher and I won’t treat him lightly because I can’t get careless or reckless.

“He has a big opportunity by coming in late for a world title bid. He has nothing to lose. He is dangerous but I will be on my guard.”

Hawk, known as the Sioux Warrior because of his American-Indian background, has 23 wins, two losses and a draw to his name and jumped at the chance when the offer to fight Cleverly landed.

He has stopped 17 of his opponents – 15 of them inside three round – and holds win over decent men like Otis Griffin and Henry Buchanan.

Cleverly, 25, warned: “I will be aiming to look good and will definitely be trying to take him out.

Cleverly admitted that the late switch has caused him a slight problem. He has sparred with southpaw boxers preparing for Coyne while South Dakota’s Hawk is orthodox.

“If I go on my fighting instincts I should be fine on fight night. I should be able to do the business.

“I got to the stage where I didn’t care anymore who I was fighting. I decided I was ready to come here and fight whoever it is.”

 
Four
years ago this week Cleverly’s great mate Joe Calzaghe beat Roy Jones Jr
in his last contest – again coinciding with US Presidential elections,

 
Cleverly, 25, and the former world super-middleweight champion are close pals and have sparred hundreds of rounds.

 
Comparisons are inescapable and Cleverly said: “Joe was a great fighter and it’s nice to be compared to such a good champion.

 
“But I’m out to be my own name and leave my own legacy, although I’m comfortable with the comparisons. 

 
“It was tough sparring with Joe because he was the best in the world at his weight but it set me up a nice foundation.

 
“It’s starting to show in my style and the way I fight with fast hands. I helped Joe a lot because of my speed.

 

 “I helped Joe for his fights with Mikkel Kessler and Bernard Hopkins. I probably sparred over 200 rounds with him.

 
“It is inevitable that I’m compared with Joe, being just a couple miles apart and having similar boxing styles.
“Every
fighter wants to make their own name and in the next year or so I have
got an opportunity to take on the best in the world and make a legacy of
my own.”

 
Cleverly’s title fight next weekend will also be screened live on US TV network Showtime guaranteeing mass exposure.

 
He added: “I don’t set a time scale of how long I should stay in boxing.

 
“I just want to unify the division and once that is achieved then what more is there provided I have made enough money.” 
Cleverly v Hawk is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). Join at boxnation.com