Nathan Cleverly sets his sights on a fight with Bernard Hopkins in the New Year

Last Updated: 01/01/13 2:33pm

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Nathan Cleverly: Targeting a fight with Bernard Hopkins in the New Year

Nathan Cleverly: Targeting a fight with Bernard Hopkins in the New Year

Sky Bet

Nathan Cleverly hopes to land a fight against Bernard Hopkins in the New Year if he defends his world title against Robin Krasniqi on 16 March.

Cleverly made two routine defences of his WBO light-heavyweight title in 2012, but he is targeting a big-name fight in the next 12 months, with ring legend Hopkins his top target.

The 47-year-old American is the oldest man to win a world title and he could better his own record if a planned clash against IBF champion Tavoris Cloud goes ahead on 9 March.

Cleverly is keeping his fingers crossed that Hopkins emerges as the winner, but the Welshman knows he must impress against Krasniqi first before thinking about a unification fight.

"Hopkins has jumped to the top of the list, he's the fight I want," Cleverly said.

"I've got to perform and impress against this guy and that's going to set up the rest of 2013 then for the big unification fights.

"Everything will fall into place after this fight. If it all goes well with the Krasniqi fight, I would definitely like to fight the winner of Hopkins and Tavoris Cloud."

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