Nathan Cleverly has claimed an injury as reason for pulling out of a scheduled February 1 bout with Junior Makabu in Monte Carlo, but the show's promoter Rodney Berman is going on the attack over the withdrawal.
"I knew he'd pull out," Berman said via press release. "He's not a true champion, I always felt that. Whatever excuse Cleverly is making, I know he hasn't been injured. He pulled out because he realised he had no chance against Makabu. Everyone said that when the fight was signed and it obviously dawned on him.
"I always suspected he was molly-coddled. Frank Warren clearly shot his bolt by doing the deal and now has to accommodate his fighter wanting out."
Cleverly (26-1, 12 KO) hasn't fought since August, when he was overpowered by Sergey Kovalev at home in Wales, losing his WBO light heavyweight title. His plan was then to move up to cruiserweight and still is, but he has now pulled out of two scheduled dates instead.
Cleverly's promoter Warren said only that the fighter had sustained a "minor injury" causing the cancellation.