Fight Pick & Preview - Cleverly vs. Kovalev:
August 17th's light heavyweight title fight brings boxing championship action back to Cardiff, when local hero Nathan Cleverly meets the Russian slugger coming by way of America, Sergey Kovalev. The fight ought to draw attention from more than just the Welsh, and for three reasons. First and most obvious, Cleverly's WBO belt is on the line. Second, this is a match between two rising, undefeated contenders.
Third, Kovalev has a guaranteed shot at Bernard Hopkins' IBF title, whether Hopkins wants to be involved or not. Defeating Cleverly keeps that shot intact, and potentially sets up an IBF-WBO unification. If Kovalev loses, however, the IBF fight goes up in smoke. It certainly speaks to Kovalev's confidence and guts that he went ahead with fighting Cleverly, with either a more lucrative Hopkins fight or an easier fight for a vacant IBF belt hanging in the balance.
Sergey Kovalev (21-0-1, 19 KOs)
6'0" tall, 72 ...