Welsh star Nathan Cleverly will begin his campaign to become a two-time world champion when he makes his big ring return as a cruiserweight on Saturday, 30 November, at London’s Copper Box Arena.
Cleverly goes straight back into title action when he takes on Australian Daniel Ammann for the vacant Commonwealth title, featuring alongside Dereck Chisora who makes the first defence of his European heavyweight title against Matteo Modugno, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
The 25-year-old lost his unbeaten record and WBO world light heavyweight crown to big-hitting Russian Sergey Kovalev in August, but after a break and refocusing himself on his career, Cleverly is desperate to get back in the ring and win a second world title in 2014.
“I’m ready to return and I can’t wait for November 30 at the Copper Box Arena and show that Nathan Cleverly is back,” he said.
“I’ve got the hunger and desire back and I want to be a world champion again. I miss having the belt around my waist, but it’s not just about the belt. I didn’t want to let my fans down, who have supported me in my career, my family down and more importantly I didn’t want to let myself down by going out on a loss, I knew deep down that I wanted to fight again and I just needed time to focus on what I wanted to do.
“I was on a high for so long winning the British, Commonwealth and European titles in quick time and then winning the world title and making five successful defences. In five years I had 15 championship fights and I felt invincible. The loss to Kovalev has brought me back down to earth and made me realise what I want and that is to be world champion again.
“The thought of winning a second world title now really excites and motivates me, but the road back will be hard and I’m looking forward to testing my character and resolve.”
Cleverly’s addition to the Copper Box Arena show replaces British and Commonwealth middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders who was scheduled to defend his titles on the show, but a slight hand injury picked up in his last fight against John Ryder has not healed in time which has meant that he has had to withdraw.
Ammann, from Stockton in New South Wales, has a record of 29 wins from 35 fights and is the Australian champion. The 30-year-old southpaw goes by the nickname of Doberman and is on an unbeaten eight-fight run. Cleverly is looking to make a big statement on his cruiserweight debut and hasn’t ruled out meet Kovalev again in the future.
He added, “It’s a good test for me on my return and the opportunity to win the Commonwealth title is a big motivator and will open doors for me.
“Ammann is proper cruiserweight and has even fought at heavyweight, he’s been around a long time and will have plenty of experience. He looks like a big, rough, tough, Aussie and I’m not expecting an easy fight.
“The main thing for me is to show that I’m back in business and ready for my new campaign in the cruiserweight division and I want to put on a good show for the fans and press.
“Kovalev’s a good fighter and I wish him all the best in his career and with his forthcoming title defence Ismayl Sillakh. As devastating as the loss was I still feel I had the skills to beat him on the night, but who knows, we could meet again if he decides to move up to 200lbs and the result will be different next time.”
Dereck Chisora headlines the Copper Box Arena with the first defence of his European heavyweight title against Matteo Modugno; plus London sensation Frank Buglioni challenging for the vacant WBO European title; a new addition to the card features a hard-hitting heavyweight showdown between English champion John McDermott and challenger Ian Lewison; Bradley Skeete v Colin Lynes for the vacant English welterweight title. An action-packed undercard features Mitchell Smith, Andreas and Chris Evangelou, Georgie Kean, Gary Corcoran and Tom Baker.
Courtesy of the Queensberry Promotions press office