10:00am Saturday 10th August 2013
By Michael Pearlman
SERGEY KOVALEV is coming to break welsh hearts and take Nathan Cleverly’s world title, and his trainer has warned there is nothing the Welshman can do about it.
Kovalev, trained by former world champion middleweight fighter John David Jackson, challenges Cleverly for his WBO light heavyweight title next Saturday at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.
Despite much bravado from Cleverly’s father and trainer Vince, Kovalev’s camp insist the Cefn Fforest fighter is overhyped and have vowed to expose him to the world as a ‘weak touch’ champion.
“Nathan has a lot of weaknesses we will exploit,” he told the Argus in a conference call.
“Because of his lack of exposure in the US, it’s actually very hard to even rate Nathan, no one has hardly seen him do a thing.
“That’s not Kovalev, he has a big reputation and he deserves it.
“Honestly speaking, I can’t even rate Cleverly compared to the other world champions in the division, he hasn’t earned the right yet to even be compared to them.
“He’s not even qualified to be ranked.”
And in comparison to Joe Calzaghe?
“Now that really is crazy,” Jackson said.
“Joe is way, way, way above Nathan and it’s an insult to Joe to even mention the two of them together, let alone to compare them as fighters.
“You honestly shouldn’t mention Nathan in the same breath as Joe, it’s ridiculous.”
Jackson insists Cleverly will have no answer to his man’s sheer power.
“It’s difficult for Nathan, we’ll take him to school and the way that he responds to losing to Kovalev will shape his career,” he said.
“We don’t expect this fight to go much beyond three rounds, but if Nathan hangs in and Sergey has to box to beat him, it’ll just delay the inevitable.
“If the fight is stopped early, Cleverly will be knocked out, if it goes to points he will lose, he can’t win in this situation.
“On a round-by-round basis we’ll show you Nathan’s flaws one by one, no doubt.”
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