Cleverly confirms switch to Booth

First published in Boxing

CEFN Fforest’s former world champion Nathan Cleverly has confirmed he has split with his father Vince and will instead train with Adam Booth going forward, writes Michael Pearlman.

The former WBO light heavyweight champion hasn’t fought since losing his world title to big hitting Sergey Kovalev in August, 2013.

He has been coached by his father and co-trainer Alan Davies since 2008 when he split from the Team Calzaghe stable, but now Cleverly is set to quit training in Wales altogether.

Cleverly confirmed to the Argus on Saturday - having intriguingly turned up at the Matchroom show in Cardiff - he is now training with Booth and has made the switch to London.

And speaking to Boxingwales.com, Cleverly elaborated on his reasons for moving forward with the man who guided David Haye to cruiserweight domination and a heavyweight world title.

“Basically, I thought Adam is a well renowned trainer and this is a chance for me to get away from home comforts. I’m in my comfort zone here at home, I’ve got a lot of distractions around me and it’s nice to get away from that, I need to,” he said.

“I’ve tried it out down there with Adam and it’s been good for me. We’re deciding on making it a permanent fixture now, it’s going well, we’re still in the trial phase and I’m enjoying it.

“At the moment, I’ve just been going down Monday to Friday and coming back on the weekends, so I’ll keep it like that for the short term and then maybe I’ll get a place down there and stay there for a little bit longer.”

Now that Cleverly has switched trainers, he admits it is also up in the air as to what weight he’ll campaign at.

“Adam and I have talked about it because obviously it’s a big jump; it’s such a big jump. Once I decide to go to cruiserweight, there’s no coming back. I’ve got to make sure it’s the right move, we’re just finalising that now and I’m doing the tests on my body to see what’s best for me,” he said.

Cleverly hopes Booth can improve his tactics in the ring.

“I’ve always been a little bit reckless because I’ve been such an attacking fighter and I’ve always neglected defence, I’ll brush up on that and become a bit more tactically astute to take me to the next stage of my career,” he confirmed.

“I’ve known Adam for quite a while; he’s on the same wave length as me. He talks sense; I can talk on the same terms as him and relate to him, we relate to the same things associated to boxing and the things that come with it. It’s looking good.

“He’s got great experience, he’s done it with David Haye and he took George Groves to an excellent position. The experience and know how is there, so he’s a proven top trainer.”

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