Nathan Cleverly 'had to' fight in USA to attract big names

Nathan Cleverly
Nathan Cleverly is unbeaten in 24 fights

Nathan Cleverly says he "had to" move his WBO light-heavyweight title fight to the United States in a bid to attract a unification showdown.

The undefeated 25-year-old cancelled a fight with Ukrainian Vyacheslav Uzelkov in Cardiff to take on in Los Angeles in November.

Cleverly acknowledges the initial fight was "tough to sell" so he hopes to take his career to the "next level" in LA.

"It is a little bit of frustration that I'm not fighting in Cardiff," he said.

"But this is a great opportunity to go to America to potentially take my career to my next level as I am hoping to make my name in America and get more international exposure.

"I want these big fights so the Americans get to know who I am because boxing has changed a little bit.

"I could stay home and take on these challengers from eastern Europe and not many people know who they are and these fights are tough to sell.

"I have had to do this move to America as people want see me in big fights and to get those big fights, this is the move I have had to take to get my name out there."

Cleverly says American great Bernard Hopkins and WBA light-heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov have turned down fights while the Welshman would also like a unification showdown with IBF light-heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud.

Coyne, Cleverly's opponent on 10 November on the undercard of the WBC super-bantamweight world title bout between Abner Mares and Anselmo Moreno, is promoted by American promoter Don King, as is Cloud.

So Cloud, an unbeaten 30-year-old from Florida, could be next in line for Cleverly.

And the fighter from Cefn Fforest concedes his next bout after Coyne could also be in the United States.

"My next fight could possibly be in the States again in early 2013 - and possibly for a unification fight. If not a unification fight, [then] against one of the big American names.

"So maybe in the near future we will be based in America, but that will hopefully be building up to a big showdown in Wales next summer."

Top Stories

Get Inspired Activity Finder

Run by the BBC and partners

Find ways to get active near you: