Cleverly wants to follow in Calzaghe's footsteps

Promoter Frank Warren (centre) with WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly (left) and Dereck Chisora during the press conference at the Landmark Hotel, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 14, 2013. Photo credit shou

Promoter Frank Warren (centre) with WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly (left) and Dereck Chisora during the press conference at the Landmark Hotel, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 14, 2013. Photo credit shou

First published in Sport

CEFN Fforest fight star Nathan Cleverly doesn’t just want to win a title in his next fight, he wants it to begin a new era in his career as he follows in the footsteps of mentor Joe Calzaghe.

The 26-year old power puncher will return to the ring for the first time since losing his WBO light heavyweight title – and undefeated record – against Sergey Kovalev and will do so campaigning in a new weight class.

Cleverly steps up to cruiserweight on November 30 to face Australian Daniel Ammann for the vacant Commonwealth title.

And the former Team Calzaghe fighter is confident the switch in weight will add a new lease of life to his career in the ring as he chases the chance to be a two-weight world champion, just like Joe.

"I'm ready to return and I can't wait for November 30th at the Copper Box Arena and show that Nathan Cleverly is back," he said. "I've got the hunger and desire back and I want to be a world champion again. I miss having the belt around my waist, but it's not just about the belt.

"I didn't want to let my fans down, who have supported me in my career, my family down and more importantly I didn't want to let myself down by going out on a loss, I knew deep down that I wanted to fight again and I just needed time to focus on what I wanted to do.

"I was on a high for so long winning the British, Commonwealth and European titles in quick time and then winning the world title and making five successful defences. In five years I had 15 championship fights and I felt invincible.

"The loss to Kovalev has brought me back down to earth and made me realise what I want and that is to be world champion again. The thought of winning a second world title now really excites and motivates me, but the road back will be hard and I'm looking forward to testing my character and resolve."

Australian southpaw Ammann, has won 29 of his 35 fights and heads into the contest at the former Olympic venue off the back of an eight fight unbeaten run.

Cleverly believes Ammann – who lost one of his fights to a guy called Brad Pitt - will offer a stiff test of his world title credentials as he looks to make an instant impression on the cruiserweight division.

"It's a good test for me on my return and the opportunity to win the Commonwealth title is a big motivator and will open doors for me," said Cleverly.

"Ammann is a proper cruiserweight and has even fought at heavyweight, he's been around a long time and will have plenty of experience. He looks like a big, rough, tough, Aussie and I'm not expecting an easy fight.

"The main thing for me is to show that I'm back in business and ready for my new campaign in the cruiserweight division and I want to put on a good show for the fans and press."

Cleverly is still planning on possibly splitting from his father and trainer Vince, but insists he has no time before this fight to plot such a move.

"When we have a bit more time to play with, then we'll potentially look to move on," Cleverly said.

"Whether I will have time before this next fight to experiment and try a few trainers in London… I doubt I'll have time for that.”

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