Cleverly in line for Albert Hall defence

Nathan Cleverly is set to defend his WBO light heavyweight title in just over eight weeks’ time prior to a summer unification bout, potentially with Bernard Hopkins.

Welshman Cleverly successfully protected his WBO crown on Saturday in Cardiff, taking a unanimous decision over American Tommy Karpency, and the 25-year-old’s promoter Frank Warren is eager for his man to fight again on April 28.

Warren has the Royal Albert Hall booked and wants Cleverly to top the bill on the same evening that Hopkins faces Chad Dawson in Atlantic City for the WBC crown, and if everything goes to plan a unification this summer could be on the cards.

“I have the date booked for April 28th, the same night that Bernard Hopkins defends the WBC title in his rematch with Chad Dawson,” confirmed Warren.

Cleverly meanwhile is desperate to face ‘The Executioner’, and would love to do so on home soil.

“I don’t just think it would be a great fight, it would be a great event,” said Cleverly.

“Obviously it depends how the fight between Dawson and Hopkins goes on April 28th.

“If Hopkins gets badly beaten up, he may well retire. But if he loses it could still be a viable defence to have here in Wales.

“He’s the oldest champion in history, and an icon in the sport, and I’d love to have the ‘W’ against him on my record.”

Warren added: “It would put boxing back on the map in Wales again.”