Boxing: Nathan Cleverly thinks he will be too much for Sergey Kovalev to deal with

Last Updated: 17/08/13 10:23pm

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Cleverly (left): Confident of defending his title

Cleverly (left): Confident of defending his title

Sky Bet

WBO light heavyweight world champion Nathan Cleverly says he will be able to withstand the punishment likely to come his way when he faces Russia's Sergey Kovalev on Saturday night in Cardiff.

The unbeaten Welshman will be making the fifth defence of his title at the Motorpoint Arena and is likely to face a tough test against the dangerous Kovalev.

The Russian has a formidable reputation, having claimed 18 of his 21 professional wins via knock-outs in one of the first three rounds.

And Cleverly said: "We all know Sergey's record, it speaks for itself.

"It is no secret, he starts fast and comes to knock you out, but I have got a great chin and I am prepared for that.

"Obviously, he has wiped out his previous opponents, but I feel I am at a different level now. I will be there after three rounds, and I will be there for the full fight.

"It is going to be very hard for him to beat me on the night because of my stamina, my chin and my speed. It is going to be very difficult for him."

Cleverly: It is going to be a great fight

The pair are squaring off after both of them were unable to agree terms on a fight with IBF title-holder Bernard Hopkins.

And Cleverly added: "Now we have two guys who want to fight, so it is going to be a great fight, a proper fight.

"It will be two hungry guys, two undefeated guys. That is what people want to see, because someone has to lose for the first time."

Cleverly's father and trainer Vince said: "I see a Nathan Cleverly victory.

"Sergey knows he has been knocked down before and he knows his chin can be his weakest point.

"Sergey has got a great big chin for Nathan to land on and, unfortunately, he is going to be on the canvas on Saturday night."

But Kovalev countered: "Nathan's camp are welcome to their opinion. He is a great fighter, otherwise he would not be a world champion.

"But they should not think that I will not be able to go 12 rounds. I do not train to only fight three rounds, I fight to go the distance. I am ready for this fight."

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