• Light-heavyweight

Cleverly: I'll make Krasniqi pay

ESPN staff
April 19, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Nathan Cleverly says he is ready for war against Robin Krasniqi © Getty Images
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WBO light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly and mandatory challenger Robin Krasniqi have both successfully weighed in ahead of their Saturday bout at Wembley Arena.

Cleverly came in just under the limit of 12st 6 1/2lbs (174lbs) ahead of the bout, while Krasniqi weighed in slightly lower at 12st 5lbs (173lbs). Unbeaten Cleverly has twice pulled out of a bout with Krasniqi due to illness, and the challenger was quick to rub the fact in by presenting the Welshman with a skirt featuring the title 'Princess of Boxing'.

"We all like a bit of fun. I'll make him pay for it on fight night," Cleverly told BBC Sport. "It was a bit of bravado and he was trying to get under my skin, but I didn't fall into his trap.

"This is my hardest fight because he's a tough opponent who's desperate to rip my world title away and also because there's a lot at stake. If I win, there are potentially big fights against Americans to be had. That's a lot to lose.

"Juergen Braehmer is the next mandatory but who knows if that will materialise because if a unification came in, that automatically takes preference over a mandatory.

"It should be a great fight, I love to fight and am ready for a war, while Krasniqi is an assertive fighter who likes to be on the front foot.

"But I've prepared 100% both mentally and physically, so there's no way he can beat me. I'm going to take him out and move onto bigger and better things."

Dereck Chisora makes his return to the ring on the undercard of Cleverly's title defence, and weighed in almost three stone heavier than his opponent Hector Alfredo Avila.

Chisora topped the scales at 18st (252lbs), while 38-year-old Avila weighed in at 15st 8lbs (218lbs).

And Paul Butler, who is challenging Commonwealth super-flyweight champion Yaqub Kareem on the undercard, weighed in at 8st 2 1/2lbs (114 1/2lbs). Kareem will defend his title at 8st 2lbs (114lbs).

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