PROMOTER Frank Warren is certain that former world light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly has what it takes to fight his way back to the top.

Cleverly is set to return to the ring as a cruiserweight in Monte Carlo on February 1 against big-hitting African Junior Makubu.

And Warren believes that the Cefn Fforest fighter can certainly come again following his heartbreaking loss of his WBO title to big punching Russian Sergey Kovalev in Cardiff in August last year.

"I was confident (that he could beat him) but sometimes you get it wrong," said Warren of that crushing knockout defeat at the Motorpoint Arena.

"I did everything right from my point of view. It was a calculated risk and Nathan, like all boxers, wanted to earn a lot of money and the only way that could happen is with the involvement of American television.

"Showtime were very interested in Kovalev and so we went down that route to do that and I made the fight."

The veteran promoter believes that Kovalev is one of the hardest hitters around, but ultimately Cleverly fought the wrong tactics.

"No doubt about it, Kovalev is a monster!" Warren told "He could really punch. But ultimately Nathan fought the wrong fight.

"There was a couple of moments when Nathan was throwing his straight punches and the other guy spat his gumshield out and went back to the corner and slumped down a little bit and I thought if Nathan keeps doing what he is doing and stays to the game plan then we shall see.

"But let me tell you, there are big punchers in this game and they don't last forever.

"Because I have always believed that a good boxer, with a good boxing brain and defence will always defeat a puncher because that's all they have to rely on. And most big punchers don't like it when they get some back.

"Kovalev is an exciting fighter and don't get me wrong, the best man won on the night. But it's now up to Nathan to re-group up at cruiserweight.

"He is going to fight now in February in quite a meaningful fight and if he can come through that it's certainly going to re-establish him.

"He is only a young man at 26 years of age, he has plenty of gas still left in the tank.

"And I do believe that on his day, he is a formidable fighter."