Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nathan Cleverly's Italian Stallion

Welsh star Nathan Cleverly says he'll beat Antonio Brancalion on February 13 - and take a step closer to lifting a world title. Unbeaten Cleverly will fight the Italian at Wembley Arena in a challenge for the Vacant European Light-Heavyweight title on Frank Warren's Night of the Champions. Originally scheduled for Italy, the fight got switched to the UK when Brancalion's Italian promoters failed to stage it.It's meant for a frustrating couple of months for Cleverly, but he says he'll make up for it by adding another belt to his British and Commonwealth titles, and then go after a world crown. Speaking today at an Italian restaurant in Soho, Cleverly revealed his frustration at the on-off nature of the fight. "It's been hard because I had to give up my Christmas for training, only to be mucked around by Brancalion's team," said the 22-year-old. "With my final year exams as well, it's all been pretty high-pressure so juggling everything hasn't been easy. "I'm just relieved to have finally been given a date, and to be told that the fight is going to be in the UK is an added bonus, although I wouldn't have been worried about fighting in Italy. "This is another step up for me and in my career. In 2008 I won the Commonwealth title, in 2009 it was the British and hopefully in 2010 it will be the European. "I've also got an eye on a world title fight. I probably need a couple more fights at European level before I'm ready, but if the chance comes along, then why not take it. "I'm rated highly by the IBF and WBO, and this year I'll be working on getting in a position where I am mandatory challenger for one of the big four belts." Promoter Frank Warren is also confident in Cleverly's ability. "The Italians have behaved really badly in all this, especially as I had a feeling they wouldn't go ahead with the fight over there even when they won the purse bid," he said. "I wanted to do this fight in Newcastle in December, and if that had been the case we'd be sat here now looking forward to Nathan's first defence. "As it is he's got to go out there and win the title, but I've got every confidence in him, and there's a lot more to come yet."

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