• Boxing

Cleverly set for title assault

ESPN staff
January 15, 2011
Nathan Cleverly could face Jurgen Braehmer © Getty Images

Nathan Cleverly is on the verge of his first world title challenge after the World Boxing Organization ordered light-heavyweight champion Jurgen Braehmer to start negotiations with the Welshman.

Cleverly, who was crowned WBO interim champion in December, was lined up to face the German after beating Karo Murat in an eliminator in September. However, Braehmer announced he would meet Beibut Shumenov in a unification battle in Kazakhstan in early January, but was forced to withdraw with illness.

Cleverly was expected to fight the winner of that bout, but now Braehmer has been ordered to fight Cleverly or risk being stripped of his title.

Cleverly's promoter Frank Warren will now meet with Braehmer's camp in a bid to bring the fight to Britain. Cleverly is keen to see a fight in Cardiff, but admits he is happy to travel.

"The Millennium is a great stadium with a large capacity. I think it's the ultimate venue really," Cleverly told Press Association Sport. "A world title fight there would be great.

"On the other hand I'm not one of those boxers who is scared of travelling. I don't mind travelling, I wouldn't mind going to America and fighting when that time comes and I've enjoyed fighting in London.

"The Millennium Stadium would be nice but travelling is an option as well, it's adventurous and character building too."

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