Nathan Cleverly hits out again at Carl Froch
6:39pm Tuesday 18th June 2013 in Boxing
NATHAN Cleverly lashed out at Carl Froch once again today, branding the world super-middleweight champion an "absolute joke" for claiming to be one of the best British boxers in history.
Cleverly has made five successful defences of his WBO light-heavyweight title, but he would like a super fight in the United States, or an all-British showdown with Froch to propel his career in to the big time.
Cleverly's promoter Frank Warren today claimed that Froch had turned down a £2.5million offer to take on his 26-year-old fighter. Warren even says he promised Froch that he would not have had to put his IBF and WBA super-middleweight belts on the line for the fight, for which Cleverly would have to drop down one weight division.
Although Cleverly is a world champion, Froch claims he is not good enough to face him in the ring - a claim that has clearly riled the Cefn Fforest fighter.
Cleverly today accused Froch of being too scared to fight him and also laughed off the Midlander's claim to be the best British boxer of all time along with Lennox Lewis.
"I have a lot of respect for Froch, but the idea of him being the self-proclaimed best British fighter ever is an absolute joke,’’ Cleverly told Press Association Sport.
"That's disrespectful to the likes of Joe Calzaghe, who would have boxed Froch's head off.
"Let's face it - he is slow, robotic, and he is claiming he is the best British fighter ever.... it's just idiotic "And to disregard me as a worthy challenger, that's the biggest thing... it's ridiculous.
"This is someone who has been outboxed by Andre Dirrell, Andre Ward and Jermain Taylor. He was beaten by Mikkel Kessler once.’’ Cleverly looks to have given up any hope of fighting Froch, who seems intent on setting up a rematch with Ward instead.
"If I'm being honest, I don't think it will happen not because of me, but because of him,’’ Cleverly added.
"His arrogance will take him down another route.
"He doesn't want to fight me because with my speed, ability and naturally bigger frame, I would be too much for him.’’ Cleverly will make the sixth defence of his belt on August 17 at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena, although the identity of his opponent is still up in the air.
Right up until last night, Warren was in discussions with American broadcaster HBO about staging a fight against undefeated Russian Sergey Kovalev.
The IBF have decided that Kovalev is now the mandatory challenger for champion Bernard Hopkins, however, so he has to choose which fighter he wants to take on next in the coming 24 hours.
If Kovalev decides he would rather face Hopkins, then Cleverly will fight someone else in Cardiff.
It is clear that Cleverly will have plenty of pent-up frustration to unleash against whoever is in the opposite corner come August 17.
Denied fights against Froch and, more recently, Hopkins, the undefeated Welshman has been even more enraged by some people on Twitter, who have claimed that by calling out Kovalev, he is ducking a big fight against a big name.
"Kovalev is unbeaten in 21 fights and has 19 knockouts,’’ Cleverly added.
"He has knocked out two world class opponents within three rounds in his last two fights, but you still have idiots mouthing off on Twitter behind keyboards calling this guy a road sweeper or a taxi driver.
"They are absolute imbeciles.’’ Footballer turned light-welterweight boxer Curtis Woodhouse was so annoyed at being trolled by one fan on Twitter that he turned up on his street to confront him.
Cleverly says he has not been tempted to take a similar course of action.
"That's what these idiots want sometimes, they want a reaction but you just have to get on with your thing and let them motivate you instead,’’ Cleverly said.
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