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Warren: Rivals are avoiding Cleverly

ESPN staff
July 20, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Nathan Cleverly has been seen as a big risk to other fighters' records © AP
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WBO light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly is not getting the blockbuster bouts he deserves because rival fighters see him as "too dangerous", according to promoter Francis Warren.

Warren, son of Cleverly's promoter Frank Warren, is adamant the likes of Carl Froch and Bernard Hopkins are avoiding stepping in the ring with the unbeaten Welshman because they see him as a big risk to their records.

The 26-year-old has long touted at a potential all-British super-fight with unified super-middleweight champion Froch, and has even offered to move down the weights to face the 'Cobra'.

The Cefn Fforest fighter branded his great rival as "disrespectful" and claimed he had gone "quiet as a mouse" over a possible clash - which now looks even less likely given Froch's recent negotiations with George Groves.

However, Warren Jr believes nobody will be able to dismiss Cleverly if he overcomes Russian big-swinger Sergey Kovalev when the pair tussle at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena on August 17.

"I think, we think, that fighters have been ducking Nathan," Warren told the South Wales Argus. "Actually, ducking perhaps isn't the right word, they are avoiding him because they know how good he is.

"If you like it's similar to the situation with Joe Calzaghe. Nathan is seen as too dangerous, too risky a fight, and he wants to put himself in a position where no one can avoid him.

"If he beats Kovalev and does it in the style we know he's capable of, people will be talking about Nathan so much he'll be unavoidable."

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