Punchlines

Welsh fighter set to face new opponent

By Nick Parkinson.   Last Updated: 04/10/12 1:46pm

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Sky Bet

Nathan Cleverly's next opponent is likely to change on Monday with a big announcement about the WBO world light-heavyweight champion.

The 25-year-old was due to face Ukrainian Vyacheslav Uzelkov at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena on 27 October, but that fight now looks like it will be scratched with some 'exciting news' set to be revealed at a press conference in London on Monday.

The Welshman is confident of landing a fight against either Bernard Hopkins or WBA light-heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov next year - but it would be a shock if he was to face either before Christmas.

Cleverly's promoter Frank Warren has spoken about the Cardiff University maths graduate fighting veteran Hopkins in America next year. Hopkins is still competing at the top at the age of 47, but lost his WBC title to fellow American Chad Dawson in April. Kazakhstan-born Shumenov, 29, is based in Las Vegas and has yet reveal who he will be facing next.

Warren claims Hopkins and Shumenov rejected offers to fight Cleverly in October, but the unbeaten Welshman is confident of facing at least one of them soon with perhaps a new interim opponent and date set to be announced on Monday.

"Both fights can happen," Cleverly told Punchlines recently. "Hopkins says he wants the fight in January possibly and that's a good sign, and I know Shumenov wants the fight. There's two big fights there potentially and I'm sure they will happen.

"I was a bit down after the Hopkins and Shumenov fights fell through a couple months ago but these things happen in boxing."

Quick Hits

Unbeaten British super-bantamweight Scott Quigg will pick up the Boxing Writers' Best Young Boxer of the Year award at the Savoy Hotel on Tuesday after heavyweight Tyson Fury missed out on the award for a third year running.

The Bury boxer, 23, says winning the award is inspiration and he hopes to go on and emulate the success of former winners like Ricky Hatton, who now promotes him, Naseem Hamed, Frank Bruno, Joe Calzaghe and Nigel Benn.

He said: "It just drives me on to be the best I possibly can. It's my dream to become a world champion.

"To be mentioned in the same breath as Ricky Hatton, Frank Bruno and Nigel Benn is a great Honour. I can't thank the boxing writers enough."

Quigg is currently training for his WBA interim world title rematch against former Leicester binman Rendall Munroe at the MEN Arena in Manchester on November 24.

Unbeaten former British champion Fury was one of those nominated for the award, along with Quigg, middleweight Nick Blackwell, unbeaten light-heavyweight Travis Dickinson, unbeaten super-bantamweight Kid Galahad and middleweight Billy Joe Saunders.

Hatton, meanwhile, has this week been sparring with Commonwealth welterweight champion Denton Vassell behind closed doors. The 34-year-old faces Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko, the former WBA world welterweight champion, in a ten-round welterweight bout as main event on 24 November.

James DeGale makes a second defence of his European super-middleweight title against Frenchman Hadillah Mohoumadi at Glow, in the Bluewater shopping centre, on 13 October after making an appearance on the The Wright Stuff on Wednesday (10 October).

Mohoumadi, 32, is the French champion and Londoner DeGale insists his first fight for promoter Mick Hennessy will be a tough test. DeGale can also expect to have questions asked of him when he appears on the topical debate programme live on Channel 5 with host Matthew Wright.

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