Cleverly: Step up 'inevitable'

  • Last Updated: November 6 2013, 9:18 GMT

Nathan Cleverly is confident he could be a two-weight world champion before 2014 is out after branding his step up to cruiserweight "inevitable".

Nathan Cleverly: Re-inventing himself at cruiserweight
Nathan Cleverly: Re-inventing himself at cruiserweight

The 26-year-old Welshman believes he was on borrowed time at light-heavyweight as far back as his second WBO title defence, against Tony Bellew back in October 2011.

Cleverly admitted he always expected a step up in weight, but still hit the lowest ebb of his career when Sergey Kovalev swiped his world title in Cardiff in August.

The Cardiff University maths graduate is enjoying not fighting to make weight, but appreciates the size of the gap he must bridge against Australian Daniel Ammann for the vacant Commonwealth cruiserweight title in London on November 30.

Frank Warren stablemate Dereck Chisora will defend his European heavyweight title against undefeated Italian Matteo Modugno on the same card, at the Copper Box Arena in Stratford's Queen Elizabeth Park.

And Warren revealed a victory for Chisora could hand the Londoner a shot at a heavyweight world title eliminator fight.

Warren is in talks with Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev's representatives Sauerland Event, with the winner of any eliminator then well-placed to negotiate with the Klitschko brothers.

No longer fighting to make weight, cruiserweight debutant Cleverly is adamant he will acclimatise quickly.

"I knew four fights ago," he admitted, "I remember watching myself back on TV and I thought 'something's not right'.

"I didn't have the same snap or the same fire as I did in my early days at light heavyweight.

"I felt the weight was a big factor for me, but I kept winning, I was World Champion at light heavyweight and I kept winning, so there was no trigger point for me to move up to cruiserweight.

"But the loss, that was the trigger point.

"It's happened, it's a blessing in disguise and now I will become a world champion at cruiserweight.

"It was an inevitable process really, because I'm still young and naturally growing, so it was only a matter of time before moving up a weight.

"If there was a weight in between, that would be ideal, but because cruiserweight is such a big jump that's why it's such a big issue.

"But if you do it properly, which I will do, then we can overcome that.

"It's challenging as well, and I'm loving the new challenge of starting from the bottom.

"I feel comfortable now mentally, and physically too.

"If you're a happy fighter you go to war, and it's going to increase your performance definitely.

"So it's a new chapter for me, chapter two in my career."

Cleverly revealed he has drawn up a four-trainer shortlist as he considers bolstering his backroom line-up, currently headed by his father Vince.

Any change of trainer could involve moving, to London or potentially even America.

He continued: "We're straight in at title level, and I'd assume that towards the back-end of 2014 we could be looking at a world title shot.

"I'm back on the road to becoming world champion again, and that's my ambition now.

"It was partly my idea but partly my dad's too.

"It's just about looking at who can bring out the best in me.

"That's a research process really, who can improve on maybe weaknesses in my game.

"I'll always have my dad involved, definitely: all the hard work is done really.

"The foundation work is there so it's just fine tuning now."


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