• Boxing

Hopkins wants Cleverly bout

ESPN staff
February 28, 2013
Bernard Hopkins must first take on Tavoris Cloud on March 9 © PA Photos

Bernard Hopkins has revealed he wants to fight current WBO light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly later on in the year.

The 48-year-old will be taking on IBF champion Tavoris Cloud in New York on March 9, with Cleverly fighting Robin Krasniqi bidding to defend his WBO title for a fifth time a week later at Wembley, and Hopkins wants a unification fight at the end of 2013 against Cleverly.

"To me, I think every division should have one king," Hopkins said. "If you're a champion and you have a title in the light-heavyweight division, why wouldn't you want to be the undisputed champion?

"I don't want to walk around and three other people wear the title of a light-heavyweight champion. To me it's an embarrassment. I'm glad that Cleverly is thinking on the same lines as I'm thinking and that's the way it should be.

"I'm from the old school but living in a new world. I understand that. I respect the guy that wants to do what needs to be done in boxing in all of the divisions."

Cleverly has been told he must do battle against former WBO champion Juergen Braehmer if he finds a way past Krasniqi in order to take on one of the division's three other champions in Chad Dawson (WBC), Beibut Shumenov (WBA) and Cloud.

Hopkins must first take to the ring against Cloud, who boasts an unblemished record from 24 fights, before a potential fight with the undefeated Cleverly.

"I'm very aware of him [Cleverly] but right now it's Tavoris Cloud and that's what's on my mind right now," Hopkins, who has won 52 of his 62 fights, said.

"After the fight they have another press conference and his name might come up [or] his name might not come up.

"But I'm sure it will come up and I'll say 'at the end of the day he can be next' because I'm all about unifying the championship.

"He [will] make more money with me than he [will] make with Cloud and anybody that fights in the light-heavyweight division makes more [money] with me, fighting a Hall of Famer," the American concluded.

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