Cleverly is tempted by LA return ahead of Krasniqi
NATHAN Cleverly has home advantage for his world title defence against Robin Krasniqi, but the Cefn Fforest fighter is plotting a Hollywood build-up to the big night.
The 25-year-old Cefn Fforest puncher has been ordered to defend his WBO crown against the Finnish fighter and will do so on March 16, with the venue as yet unclear.
Cleverly’s promoter Frank Warren has won the purse bid so Cleverly will get to fight in the UK, possibly in Cardiff or London, but he’s eyeing further afield for his training camp.
Cleverly won last time out in Los Angeles and enjoyed a stint boxing under the watchful eye of legendary trainer Freddie Roach at the Wildcard gym.
And it was such a good experience Cleverly may opt for a repeat.
“Obviously this fight is going to be in the UK now after my promoter Frank Warren won the purse bid,” said Cleverly.
“But I’m still undecided on whether or not to do all my preparation at our gym near Blackwood or if I might go to America again for a month.
“I got such a lot out of it last time and the weather is another good motivator!
“It’s something I’m giving serious consideration to. I may well go back out to California for a month or so at the end of January and then come back. I’ll wait and see.”
Cleverly admits he was wary about going to Germany, mentor and former stablemate Joe Calzaghe advising him that if he did fight away from home, he’d have to target victory by stoppage.
“Joe fought in Germany, against Mario Veit and I think he got the same warnings,” Cleverly added.
“Everyone says the same thing, that you can’t rely on getting a decision in Germany, you need to take it out of the judges’ hands.
“But I’d have been happy to go there, I am targeting a stoppage win anyway.”
Cleverly remains hopeful his higher profile in America will lead to unification fight this summer.
“If it all goes well with the Krasniqi fight, Beibut Shumenov is definitely in my sights and I would definitely like to fight the winner of Hopkins and Tovaris Cloud,” he explained.
Undefeated Cleverly defended his title for the fourth time in November by stopping American Shawn Hawk at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in the eighth round.