Nathan Cleverly has given up his British light-heavyweight title, leaving himself clear to challenge for the world crown. 

Commonwealth champion Tony Bellew was the mandatory challenger for Cleverly’s Lonsdale belt and purse bids were recently requested by The British Boxing Board of Control. But the Board have now made Bellew v Ovill McKenzie for the vacant title to take place on February 19th.

Cleverly will challenge for the WBO light-heavyweight title in his next fight, after the WBO ordered that negotiations should begin between Cleverly’s camp and the German champion Jurgen Braehmer.

Braehmer was due to meet WBA champion Beibut Shumenov earlier this month, but missed the fight through illness.

It looked like the Welshman would have to wait until the outcome of the rearranged fight between Braehmer and Shumenov before getting his chance.

But now if Braehmer decides to fight the Kazak, he will be stripped, and Cleverly will challenge for the vacant title.

Braehmer’s other option is to defend against Cleverly.

Promoter Frank Warren had tried to bring Braehmer to the UK in December to meet Cleverly on the ‘Return of the Magnificent Seven’ show in Liverpool.

And he will be confident he can tempt the 32-year-old to Britain, possibly in March.

Amir Khan looks like he is to give up on negotiations with American proposed challenger Lamont Peterson, with the WBA light-welterweight champion turning his attentions to a possible clash with Northern Ireland’s unbeaten British and European champion Paul McCloskey.

Lets hope for British boxing Khan does offer McCloskey the title shot and we have an all British world title fight on these shores.

McCloskey (right) deserves his chance, he is ranked number 2 in Britain behind Khan, unbeaten and holds the main domestic honours. McCloskey will be a much better test than Peterson would have been and will give it everything he has got in his big chance. Khan will be making a great fight here if all can be agreed. which is the reason the Peterson fight fell through, with the American fighter wanting too much money!! I’m sure the chance to fight for the world title would balance things out a little there and I’m sure McCloskey will jump at the chance to prove himself in the hope of becoming world champion. see McCloskey video interview and his views on facing Khan here.

David Haye will be back in the ring in May, possibly against the winner of the Vitali Klitschko vs Odlanier Solis fight on March 19, trainer Adam Booth has revealed. 

Klitschko’s fight with Solis is for the WBC title and Haye is thought to have switched his attentions to Vitali now, having failed to entice his brother Wladimir into the ring. But should Solis win the fight and the title, then a fight against the unbeaten Cuban would be a repeat of their amateur fight.

Meanwhile  Haye has to wait to see if his next opponent – Uzbekistan’s Ruslan Chagaev – is allowed to fight in the UK. Haye, 30, will defend his WBA heavyweight title against Chagaev after talks to face Wladimir Klitschko fell through. But Chagaev may not be allowed to box in Britain due to a history of suffering from hepatitis B.

The British Boxing Board of Control are still waiting on the medical reports. Before deciding whether  Chagaev can box in the UK. 

Referee Dave Parris, who boxed as a professional light-heavyweight, has retired after 30 years as a referee, having reached the age of 65. 

Matthew Hatton is very close to agreeing to fight unbeaten WBC Silver junior middleweight champion Saul Alvarez on March 5th at the Honda Center, in California.

According to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer. Contracts have been exchanged and an announcement will be made next week.

A Possible Fight Date for WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch to face American Glen Johnson in the Super Six Semi final, looks like being on May 21. 

Froch told BBC radio 5 Live he hopes to get the fight in England. Johnson, a former IBF light-heavyweight champion, is well known to boxing fans in Britain having fought Sheffield’s former world champion Clinton Woods three times!

A win for Froch will see him enter a super fight against American superstar fighter in Andre Dirrell, the WBA Super Middleweight champion. 

Jamie Arthur, will defend his Commonwealth super-bantamweight title against Jason Booth at Brentwood Centre on February 5. 

It replaces Sam Webb’s British light-middleweight title defence against Bradley Pryce after the champ suffered a back problem.

It will be Booth’s first fight since losing a points decision against IBF champion Steve Molitor back in September.

British super-middleweight champion James DeGale’s summer showdown with Commonwealth champion George Groves is in jeopardy after Frank Warren spoke of unreasonable demands on the part of Groves’ manager Adam Booth. 

Olympic gold medallist DeGale (9-0) and Groves (11-0) are both known to want the fight to happen, but Warren has spoken out about dealing with the Hayemaker supremo, who also manages WBA heavyweight champion David Haye.

Warren had said that Adam Booth was ‘without doubt the most difficult person that he had ever had to deal with, in all the time he’s been in boxing, bar none.’

Booth hit back by saying that he took Warren’s comments ‘as a compliment.’

Frankie Gavin will be back in the ring at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on February 19 after pulling out of their original engagement against Wolverhampton’s Dean Harrison in Liverpool. 

Birmingham star turn Gavin will be glad to get back into action and pick up where he left off in a rescheduled match against Harrison. The original clash was going to be for the WBO light-welterweight Intercontinental belt, and promoter Frank Warren will look to reschedule the fight for that title again.

Big things are expected of the former amateur world champion in 2011, and he will be looking to move up a level and climb the ranks, starting with Harrison.

It is being rumoured that Matthew Macklin will be fighting former undisputed light-middleweight champion Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright on April 9th at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas. 

Macklin the European champion is eyeing a fight with British rival Darren Barker, but with a high profile showdown against Wright in boxing’s bright lights of Vegas, maybe to good to turn down.

The Golden Boy promotion, which will co-feature Juan Manuel Marquez vs Erik Morales, in the long awaited battle of the Mexican boxing legends.

The first Prizefighter tournament of 2011 sees the light-heavyweights take over Olympia in London on Saturday January 29 – with Sky Sports showing it in 3D for the first time.

Bristol’s Lee Haskins stepped up his preparations this week for his shot at Andrea Sarritzu’s European Flyweight Title on January 28, in Cagliari, Sardinia.

Sarritzu is rated No. 4 in the WBC World Rankings so a win for Haskin’s who is the reigning Super Flyweight British and Commonwealth Champion, could see him move into a healthy world position and a possible world title shot.

Ian Nappa makes a ring return when he takes on Manchester’s unbeaten prospect Terry Flanagan, in a fight that is a brave move for both at this stage of their careers.

Nappa one of the most gifted and skillful British fighters in the game, is now coming to the end of his successful domestic career and has lost his last two fights.

A win for Flanagan against a British boxing name such as Nappa, would be a massive achievement considering he is taking a gambled step up in class and is relatively unknown outside of his Manchester suburb. This could be an interesting fight, but it is only over 4 rounds and I wonder who that will suite more?

On the same night, Derry Matthews will fight Scott Lawton for the vacant IBO lightweight belt at the Liverpool Olympia.This will be a rematch after Lawton beat Matthews in 2009 by 6th round TKO.

Former five-weight world champion and boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, will host an evening at Liverpool’s Olympia on Saturday, April 2. 

Leonard returns to Merseyside after a successful appearance in October 2009 on a Vauxhall Motors ABC night.

The 1976 Olympic gold medallist is sure to recount his memorable professional career which spanned three decades and saw him in 13 world title fights.

Finishing his career with a record of 36-1-3 and shared epic battles with Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler.

Tickets for the night with Sugar Ray are priced at £70 and £100 with a meal included.

The more expensive tickets are for front row tables with photos available with Leonard for an extra £20. For ticket information call Neil Hibbert on 07794275218.
Ryan Brawley and Stuart Green clash for the vacant Scottish lightweight title on January 24 at The Radisson Hotel in Glasgow.

Come Back soon for all the latest British Boxing News this week….

By Chris Maylett

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