• Light-heavyweight

Cleverly fears he'll scare Hopkins off

ESPN staff
April 20, 2013

Nathan Cleverly is hoping he does not scare off future rivals with a demolition job of Robin Krasniqi on Saturday, claiming he is lining up a "big fight" later this year.

Cleverly defends his WBO light-heavyweight crown against mandatory challenger Krasniqi at Wembley Arena. Victory is widely expected for the 26 year-old.

Bernard Hopkins has his own mandatory challenger to meet when he faces Karo Murat, but Cleverly is determined to be next in line for the legendary American. His only fear is that he might make the entire division go running for cover when he wipes out Krasniqi.

"Possibly if I put on a good show against Krasniqi a lot of fighters will be on guard in the division and they won't fight," he said.

"They'll see the hunger, enthusiasm and ferocity I bring. That will put a lot of fighters off."

Confirming his intention to lure Hopkins into the ring, Cleverly said: "We're lining up a big fight for later this year. We're having a few defences of my title and picking up experience before the unification fights.

"Hopkins is such a brilliant tactician and an elite level fighter. He'll ask questions I've never been asked before. Have I got what it takes at the elite level? That's what he'll ask me and that's what I want to find out.

"Hopkins is the perfect guy to do that. I believe I can do it, it's just about proving you can."

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