TRAINER Vince Cleverly believes his son Nathan Cleverly was in danger of becoming “burned out” unless he pulled out of his showdown at the Royal Albert Hall.

The 25-year old was set to make the fourth defence of his WBO light-heavyweight title at the famous venue against Kosovan Robin Krasniqi but has had to withdraw with a viral infection.

Doctors’ orders mean Cleverly must take complete rest for a fortnight and therefore he has removed himself from the April 28 date.

However, rather than just being a set back, Nathan’s father and coach Vince believes it is a move that has potentially rescued his career at the top level.

“Nathan is on the verge of being burned out,” he told the Argus.

“We simply had to pull the plug on this fight, under doctors’ orders because he’s barely had the energy to train.

“He took this fight on only seven weeks’ notice after his last defence (against Tommy Karpency) and he was confident he’d be in brilliant shape.

“But unfortunately his body has retaliated against him. Nathan has never missed a fight date and never pulled out of anything since he turned professional as a teenager and it’s all caught up with him.

“If the doctor hadn’t told him to pull out I would have, otherwise he would have lost his title because he could barely train.”

Nathan was sent home from a training session last Wednesday and made his decision after his prognosis from the doctor and admits he’s frustrated.

“I’ve been unable to train because I’ve been laid up in bed with a viral infection and there’s not enough time to make up what I’ve missed in training to make sure I’m fully fit,” he said.

“I’ve taken the advice of my doctor and been told to fully rest before attempting to start training again,”

“I’m really disappointed because I was looking forward to being the first fighter to bring boxing back to the Royal Albert Hall in over a decade.

“It was a big night for me as Hopkins was facing Dawson on the same night and I was looking to do a good job on Krasniqi to get a fight with the winner,”

Promoter Frank Warren added: “It’s such a shame that Nathan has been hit with a viral infection and at a crucial time.

“He is unable to fight and he now needs to have a good rest, get himself healthy and resume training before we look to reschedule his title defence.”

Vince Cleverly is hoping the potential fight with Hopkins can still go ahead this summer.

“We probably need Bernard to beat Chad Dawson now for it to be sanctioned over a mandatory defence with the WBO,” he said.

“The promoters (Frank Warren and Hopkins’ representatives) Golden Boy want to make the fight so we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed and leave it to Frank.”