The world awaits
Johnny Nelson can't see Karo Murat stopping Nathan Cleverly's meteoric rise towards a world title.
Last Updated: 16/09/10 11:57am
Nathan Cleverly looks destined to go all the way.
This bill on Saturday night feature some of the best prospects we've got here in Britain but of all of them, you would think the young Welshman has all the attributes to really do something special.
For a start, the light-heavyweight division is not littered with top-notch fighters, although when you get to world class and are talking about world champions, it's safe to say they are better than anything he's come across so far.
As fighter he has got it all going for him. He's quiet and unassuming but is a clever, clever fighter. He doesn't strike me as a lazy fighter either; he always looks in good shape and prepares to the maximum.
He is still a couple of levels beneath world-title at the moment, but if he can come through Karo Murat, it is all there for him. And now his studies are finished I really to expect him to get even better. I studied while I was boxing and it did my head in. Physically it wasn't a problem, but I found it hard mentally; I was exhausted a lot of the time and found myself getting turned over in the gym.
Now Nathan can concentrate 100 per cent on his boxing, I expect him to be even sharper. He is such a good all-round fighter, safe but at the same time aggressive, that he really can improve a lot, lot more. Whether we will see it first fight up after his studies, only time well tell, but I would expect him win this comfortably.
Yes Murat is undefeated, but he is a super-middleweight, whereas Nathan is a bonafide light-heavy. That will give him an advantage straight away and I do think Nathan is sharp enough, quick-thinking enough to cope with the extra speed that the smaller man will have.
It might make for an awkward first half to the fight, but the extra strength and punch power should tell and by the second half of the fight - if it goes that far - you can expect Cleverly to come on strong, make that natural size advantage tell. And even if their are awkward moments, I would put him in the bracket of fighters that can think their way out of a tough situation, work out a way to win.
It's one thing having a gameplan but it's another being able to change it mid-fight, have a Plan B, C or D, to switch to. And as a champion, Nathan will have to get used to people coming after him, wanting to put him out of his stride, shake him up any which way they can.
Everyone knows what you do as well. They know what to expect to it's up to you to find something different, something they just didn't expect.
But although he has still only had 19 fights, you get the feeling this lad can do all that already. He is too smart to be intimidated by anyone, clever enough to think his way through fights and work out opponents there and then. Technically he has one or two little things to iron out, but that will come.
We will get to see the best young British prospects on Saturday night, but not all of them will go all the way and even fight for a world title. But with Nathan Cleverly, he already has the British, Commonwealth and European titles at the age of 24, so I fully expect him to go on to win a world title soon.
And looking at that light-heavyweight division, he might even be able to clean up as well.