CHRIS KIRWAN SAYS: World champion Nathan Cleverly is just not getting his chance to shine
9:00am Thursday 7th March 2013 in Sport
WHILE one Welshman takes his sport by storm, another festers on the sidelines.
Gareth Bale is flying high in the Premier League with ten goals in eight games, including four matchwinners.
Spurs are not quite the one-man team that some suggest but they are like the football equivalent of Pulp with Bale their Jarvis Cocker; the others play their part to enable him to strut magnificently.
Bale is loving his football and it looks like he is being sent out with simple instructions – just play.
The result is that we are able to see a majestic talent doing things that amaze.
The opposite is happening for a world champion from Gwent.
It’s impossible to feel anything but pity for Nathan Cleverly, a young man who should be making waves while the world watches.
Instead his career has stalled while in its infancy.
Earlier this week the Cefn Fforest fighter’s clash against Robin Krasniqi, scheduled for next Saturday, was delayed for a month following the cancellation of two other fights on the bill.
It’s bad enough that Cleverly, whose build-up was hindered by a stomach upset, is put up against opponents that fail to excite.
Plenty of big names get thrown around – Bernard Hopkins, Chad Dawson, Carl Froch – but the bouts never materialise.
Even the dull fights that he does get given happen infrequently.
Cleverly has fought FOUR times since beating Nadjib Mohammedi for the interim WBO light-heavyweight title in December 2010. He averages two fights a year and his gloves see less action than those of Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
It is a criminal waste of his talent, akin to shifting Bale to left-back again.
Cleverly is rapidly becoming Welsh sport’s forgotten man. Just let him box.