Karpency toughest yet - Clev

Welshman admits he had to be on his game to dominate American

Last Updated: 26/02/12 11:39am

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Nathan Cleverly: Unable to stop the tough Tommy Karpency

Nathan Cleverly: Unable to stop the tough Tommy Karpency

Sky Bet

Nathan Cleverly paid tribute to the durable Tommy Karpency after he was taken the distance in Saturday's WBO light-heavyweight title defence.

Cleverly was an overwhelming favourite against the American and although it was an impressive, lop-sided win his opponent took plenty of credit.

"He was probably the toughest opponent I have faced over the distance. A lot of guys are tough over six rounds, but wilt in the championship rounds. "
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Karpency took lots of punishment but deservedly heard the final bell as the Welshman made a successful third defence of his belt.

Tough

"It was good boxing match. It was an excellent fight," he said. "Tommy showed tonight why he has sparred with world-class fighters. He is very tough, has good power and is a tough fighter.

"A lot of people criticised our choice of opponent but I have moved through the British scene with ease, I was in university when I was knocking out the British guys.

"So it shows at world level you can't take anything for granted. I knew if I took my eye off the game he would punish me.

"He was probably the toughest opponent I have faced over the distance. A lot of guys are tough over six rounds, but wilt in the championship rounds.

"But Tommy is a 12-round fighter and it makes a difference."

Condition

Karpency was impressed with Cleverly, whom he says is now ready to take on anyone in the division.

"There is nobody who I have been in with who could knock over Nathan," he said. "Having gone 12 rounds with him tonight I say he could fight with anyone in the world.

"He is in top condition, he has a high work-rate and he takes good shots. I hit him with some real good shots tonight and he just sucked them up which surprised me more than anything.

"He is ready for anyone."

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