• Light-heavyweight

Cleverly: Even Chisora and Fury can't put me down

ESPN staff
April 17, 2013

Nathan Cleverly has sent out a warning to Robin Krasniqi ahead of Saturday's WBO light-heavyweight title showdown, claiming even Tyson Fury cannot knock him down.

Cleverly and Krasniqi go to war at Wembley Arena on a huge night of boxing, with the Welshman making the fourth defence of his WBO title. Victory could propel him towards a lucrative showdown with Bernard Hopkins.

Krasniqi, defeated only twice in 41 fights, is expected to provide an intriguing test for Cleverly, but the champion insists much bigger men than his opponent have failed to put him down, naming Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury among them.

"It's nice to be taken out of your comfort zone and face guys who are heavier than you and who can push you around," Cleverly said. "It's good to not have things your own way and these guys test your chin and how you respond.

"Sometimes I stand and trade with the heavyweights. It's macho, you could say it's a bit silly, but that's my mentality. I love to go to war sometimes.

"I have a granite chin and have never been put down, but the heavyweights really test my chin. It's a challenge but it gives me confidence when I take their shots.

"My chin is one of my greatest strengths, which is good because if you're going to get punched for a living you need that. In an ideal world you learn how to avoid punches, so I've got to learn how not to be so reckless and make it easier for myself."

Both Chisora and Fury fight this weekend, the former taking on Hector Alfredo Avila while the latter makes his US debut against Steve Cunningham.

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