Ever since Nathan Cleverly's fight with Tommy Karpency was announced there has been a few articles of anger and discontent, and for good reason. Nathan Cleverly should be fighting better fighters than Karpency (no offence to Tommy), as Cleverly is dubbed a future star and needs to be tested more. Hey, maybe bigger fights were wanted but we will never know. If you want to read Scott's thoughts on the fight then have a read here.
Right back to the story...basically Cleverly is insisting he will not underestimate Tommy Karpency. The pair face each other at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena on February 25th, with a sell-out crowd of 5,000 expected.
When speaking to Sky Sports Cleverly claimed he would be stupid to underestimate the unfamiliar Karpency.
"It would be absolutely stupid and naive to underestimate any opponent in boxing, especially in a world title fight. It would be recipe for disaster. A lot of people have written Tommy off, but they're not the ones who are stepping into the ring. When you face another trained fighter, you must be on your game, especially at this level.
I've prepared even better than I have for any other fight. Tommy's got nothing to lose and can give it everything knowing there's a big prize at the end of the line. It's my ambition to remain unbeaten and prevent that from happening. I want to enjoy the performance and put on a good display of boxing.
It could go the distance and the most important thing is that psychically and mentally I'm prepared to go 12 rounds."
Karpency himself is confident he can beat Cleverly... and any other light-heavyweight in the world.
"I'm not sure who Nathan was in negotiations with for this fight, but for me this is the pinnacle of the sport, a world championship bout. The reason I was chosen as an opponent doesn't affect my drive to win whatsoever. I've gone through my whole career without a promoter, my father's my trainer and manager.
I've been written off and that doesn't really bother me, but I imagine Nathan's camp haven't written me off. I believe I can beat any light-heavyweight in the world. If I didn't, I shouldn't be in sport."
First of all I'd like to agree with Cleverly, regardless of the opponent you can't look past them. Not preparing for a fight can result in disastrous consequences. However I don't see Cleverly having any troubles for this fight. Tommy Karpency could go on to do great things, but challenging for a World title should be warranted due to the previous fights a boxer has had and won. For me (and many) Karpency doesn't deserve the chance to fight Cleverly, but fair play to him for having the confidence and having a go.
I like Cleverly and think he can go far in the sport, I just wanted to see a much tougher test than the one he will face in February.