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Cleverly vs Kovalev: Vince Cleverly confident his son will knock out Kovalev

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Fighter's father/trainer has big hopes for his son against his most dangerous challenge to date.

Michael Steele

Vince Cleverly, the father and trainer of WBO light heavyweight titleholder Nathan Cleverly, is confident that his son will knock out dangerous contender Sergey Kovalev when the two meet on August 17 in Cardiff, Wales, saying he's seen vulnerability in Kovalev.

"Nathan's got a longer reach, he's got better stamina, he's got a better chin," Vince Cleverly said. "And everybody goes on about Kovalev knocking people [out]. ... I'm 100-percent confident that Nathan will KO Kovalev. I've seen Kovalev's legs wobble with Cornelius White, also with [Gabriel] Campillo. If they can wobble him, I'm positive Nathan Cleverly is going to stop Sergey Kovalev."

Kovalev (21-0-1, 19 KO) finished off both White and Campillo in three devastating rounds, but there's no question that Cleverly (26-0, 12 KO) is a different sort of challenge. While not a big puncher, Cleverly keeps a high workrate in the ring, has enough pop to keep foes honest, and is young and fresh, with no pro setbacks.

How likely is it that Kovalev has been a little overhyped and that Cleverly might expose some flaws in the 30-year-old Russian? Or will Kovalev storm through Cleverly the same as he's done to his other recent foes?