Nathan Cleverly is expected to have no trouble in his fight with Tommy Karpency today in Cardiff. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Today's WBO light heavyweight title fight in Cardiff between Nathan Cleverly and Tommy Karpency hasn't been booked to be competitive, and the oddsmakers are quite aware of that fact, making Cleverly an obscene favorite in a fight that is being billed as for a "world championship":
To put this in full perspective, last week's odds on the Chris Arreola vs Eric Molina fight, thought to be nothing more than a tune-up/showcase/whatever you want to call it for Arreola, were not even close to this. Arreola was favored at -1800 and -2000 on the same books. He won by first round knockout.
This is a fight, quite frankly, that has no business happening. The WBO has wisely forced Karpency (21-2-1, 14 KO) into their light heavyweight so as to allow this to happen. He had previously, and quite hilariously, been ranked as a cruiserweight, despite having never fought over 183 pounds in his life.
So the WBO moved him to light heavyweight, where he's ranked No. 11 as of the February rankings, for reasons that would escape any logical and rational human being out there. Since clearly losing to Karo Murat in May 2010, Karpency has fought twice, beating guys with incoming records of 3-7 and 10-16-2. This is a contender, by WBO standards. What's Karpency's best win? Etienne Whitaker in 2008?
Frank Warren and Nathan Cleverly have set up what is the easiest of the easy fights they could have sanctioned for this paper title, which Cleverly has because Juergen Braehmer wouldn't show up. For more of my lengthy thoughts on this subject, you can read my previous critical piece on the fight, but you should also check out Dave Oakes' preview, which also focuses some on Frankie Gavin's return to the ring (which is really happening this time).
Bad Left Hook will have live coverage of Cleverly vs Karpency this afternoon, as it is being packaged with the Povetkin vs Huck fight on BoxNation in the UK.