This weekend's matchup between Nathan Cleverly and Sergey Kovalev pits two of the best light heavyweights in the world against each other for the WBO light heavyweight championship. It's a major fight for settling the landscape of the 175 pound division, and both men will likely be eager to make the most of the opportunity on Saturday. The defending champ, Cleverly, has declared it to be the biggest fight of his career, and recognizes that Kovalev is the best he has fought thus far as a pro.
"It is going to be great on home soil, the fight is almost sold out. It is going to be very special. It is going to be a great fight. We like to fight on the front foot and it is going to be explosive. It is the most important fight of my career, potentially the best fight of my career as well. Potentially the best opponent I have faced so this is a tremendous fight."
Cleverly's promoter Frank Warren had this to add:
"It was Nathan who wanted this fight, he suggested it to me in a meeting we had a few months ago in London. Having been involved with Nathan from day one, this is a fight which can project him into some real big-money fights.
I think this could be a candidate for fight of the year. I don't care what anyone says, we have not picked any easy jobs here, this is two good boxers and there is going to be an explosion."
So Cleverly and Warren agree that it is going to be an explosive fight but does that type of brawl favor Cleverly? Kovalev is the bigger puncher, the one more likely to enjoy a slugfest in the middle of the ring. It could all be promotional smoke and mirrors stuff, but I would have to think that Cleverly's strategy cannot be to always be on his front foot.
As the fight draws closer, what do you think of the matchup? Is Cleverly's reign coming to an end or is this his time to shine against an elite opponent that will bring out the best in him?