Credit:  Photo by DON EMMERT / AFP –

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Sergey Kovalev roughed up Bernard Hopkins from the opening bell, winning a unanimous decision early Sunday to stake his claim as the best light heavyweight.

Kovalev has three versions of the 175-pound belt after taking two from the 49-year-old Hopkins in the decisive victory. Kovalev is 26-0-1 with 23 knockouts.

Kovalev received winning scores of 120-107 from two judges and 120-106 from the third. The 31-year-old Russian won the IBF and WBA light heavyweight belts to go with his own WBO title.

Two months shy of 50, Hopkins (55-7-2) could face retirement after a rare title bout where he was never a factor. Kovalev knocked down Hopkins in the first round and never backed off his punishing pace.

Kovalev hadn’t fought past the eighth, but was at his best against Hopkins in the 12th. He wanted the KO and battered Hopkins against the ropes, making the Philadelphia fighter at last look his age.

“I wanted to show fans that I know how to box and I did,” Kovalev said. “I tried to go for the knockout in the 12th round. He has great defense. He’s the best boxer in my division.”

Hopkins felt every single one of Kovalev’s blows in the 12th. And there were plenty of them in that final round. Kovalev landed 38 punches in the final round, the most ever against Hopkins in 41 fights tracked by CompuBox.

The pro-Hopkins crowd chanted “B-Hop!” and “U-S-A!” to rally the veteran driver. It didn’t work.

Kovalev dropped Hopkins with a solid right early in the first round, but the veteran hopped right up. Kovalev smelled blood and became focused on finishing off Hopkins with a knockout.

He pummeled Hopkins in the final 45 seconds of the third round. Kovalev was at his best when he backed Hopkins into a corner and unloaded body shots that left him reeling.

Hopkins just wouldn’t go down for good. He had his best round in the seventh, landing a couple of rights that had little meaning in the long run.

Kovalev answered in the eighth with a hard right that wobbled Hopkins. Kovalev kept it up until the 12th. Respect for Hopkins’ Hall of Fame resume was about the only thing that kept the referee from stopping the fight.

“I give him a lot of respect, we both would fight anyone,” Hopkins said. “That’s how we ended up here tonight. That’s what brought us together.”

But did it bring Hopkins to his professional end?

“I really don’t want to say anything,” Hopkins said. “It’s been 50-50 for the last nine years.”

Hopkins lost his professional debut to Clinton Mitchell at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City in 1988. Kovalev was just 5 years old and living in Chelyabinsk, Russia at the time. Hopkins took 15 months off before fighting again, defeating Greg Paige at Philadelphia’s Blue Horizon, the first of 22 straight victories that wouldn’t end until he lost to Roy Jones Jr. in 1993. The 45-year-old Jones was on HBO’s broadcast team for the fight.

Never a stylistically crowd-pleasing fighter, Hopkins hasn’t knocked out an opponent since Oscar De La Hoya in September 2004.

De La Hoya was at the fight, too. Hopkins is a minority partner with De La Hoya in Golden Boy Promotions.

De La Hoya said after the fight Hopkins will fight again and still has options in a lower weight class.

At 46, Hopkins became the oldest fighter to win a major world championship in 2011 when he defeated Jean Pascal. He dropped the WBC version of the light heavyweight belt to Chad Dawson in 2012, setting him up again to break his own record of oldest fighter to win a championship in 2013 with a unanimous decision victory over Tavoris Cloud.

Hopkins was 48 for that bout. He won his next two bouts to set up the unification fight with Kovalev.

Now, it’s Kovalev’s turn to stand atop the division.



nathan-cleverly (3).crop

Nathan Cleverly Blog: Mon., Aug. 12 –

How did you get stared in boxing & who inspired you?

I was 11 years old when I became a boxer. It was in 1997 when I sat on the sofa with my Dad and we watched Joe Calzaghe become world champion, that’s when I knew it was for me. My parents took some persuading but they understood that it was what’s best for me, I was an ultra-competitive child and it led to a few scrapes and scraps on the streets.

I was brought up in an area called Phillipstown, it’s known by the locals as Monkey’s Island and it’s in the South Wales valleys. There were few facilities and even fewer opportunities, that’s why we produce so many fighters – nine world champion boxers have been born and bred in the valleys.

My upbringing was good, I have a strong family behind me and good set of values that kept me out of trouble, most of the time! From an early age, sport was the main focus in my life. When I was 15 I became Welsh cross county running champion and I’ve always been a good footballer, I’m active in other sports but it was boxing that took over my life.

I started my amateur career at 86lbs and finished at 152lbs, winning six consecutive Welsh amateur titles in a row and taking gold at the Four Nation Championships competing against the best of England, Scotland and Ireland. My amateur record consists of 32 wins from 36 fights and I was undefeated in my own country.

When I was 18 in 2005, I decided that I’d turn professional, I’d explored all options open to me in the amateurs so it was a step of natural progression and my style suited the pros. Education has always been important to me and my family, it was at this time that I started studying a degree in Pure Mathematics at Cardiff University. I knew a degree and boxing professionally at the same time wouldn’t be easy, nothing worth doing is but I’ve always loved a challenge.

Joe Calzaghe was local and our Dads knew each other from the music circuit, it was a natural link up. For a short period the gym had three world champions and a few more domestic title holders; it was a great grounding in what professional boxing is all about.

My Dad has always been by my side and in 2008 we made the decision for him to train me with assistance from one of my old amateur trainers, Alan Davies. It started a brilliant run of form, after winning the Commonwealth title I scored seven stoppages in a row, picking up a British and European title on the way.  By this time I’d put myself on the brink of a world title and it was only then that I graduated from university and could be a full time fighter.

At this point, my game had made great improvements and everything was falling in to place but the only piece missing was the world champion. It had taken a year to get Juergen Braehmer in the ring with me and when we thought we had him, he pulled out and I was awarded the title outside of the ring.

Since then I’ve defended my title five times; fighting in my opponents back yard, coming home to a sold out arena and going out to fight in America. We’ve tried making the big fights but the names have avoided me.

It’s been frustrating but this is a massive breakthrough fight me. I’m fighting the most dangerous in the division – Sergey Kovalev. The Russian is building a big reputation in America and his punch is even bigger. Nobody else wants to say Kovalev’s name, let alone fight him but I will beat him to show I am the best light-heavyweight in the world and I will force the big names to fight me.



HOBOKEN, New Jersey (May 30, 2012) – American boxing fans will once again have an opportunity to watch some of the most promising prospects from North of the border as FIGHT NOW! TV TM – America’s only 24-hour combat sports and entertainment channel – airs the fifth and final edition of the popular “Fast & Furious Boxing Series” on June 8 live from the famed Bell Centre in Montreal. Viewers may also watch on Ustream – ordering information is available at ustream.tv and fightnow.com.

Unbeaten World Boxing Organization (“WBO”) North American Boxing Organization (“NABO”) light heavyweight champion Eleider “Storm” Alvarez (8-0, 5 KO) makes his first title defense against Native American challenger Shawn “The Sioux Warrior” Hawk (23-1, 19 KO) in the 12-round main event.


“Promoter Yvon Michel (GYM Boxing) always delivers top fighters in entertaining, competitive fights,” says Mike Garrow, Co-Founder and General Manager of FIGHT NOW! TV. “Our FIGHT NOW! TV viewers always enjoy GYM (Groupe Yvon Michel) events. We’re very happy to be working again with this quality promotion to bring the best of Canadian boxing to the United States.

“The 28-year-old Alvarez, who lives in Montreal, was a 2008 Colombian Olympian who captured the NABO title last December, stopping Emiliano Cayetano in the opening round. Rated No. 15 by the WBO, Alvarez won all eight rounds in his most recent fight this past April against Rayco Saunders.

Hawk, who fights out of Atlantic City, New Jersey, is riding a five-fight win streak, four of which have come at light heavyweight after campaigning most of his professional career as a cruiserweight. Hawk, 27, has defeated top light heavyweights Henry Buchanan (20-2), Otis Griffin (23-8-2) and Rubin Williams (29-10-1) for the Sovereign Nations title.

In the co-feature, Montreal middleweight David Lemieux (25-2, 24 KO) makes his long-awaited comeback to the ring, after being sidelined since December from a right hand injury against Joachim Alcine (33-2-1, 19 KO). The wildly popular Lemieux, who is ranked No. 23 by the World Boxing Council (“WBC”), takes on tough Mexican-American Jaudiel “Negro” Zepeda (12-5-1, 9 KO) in an eight-round match.

Also fighting on a power-packed undercard is a trio of undefeated heavyweights in eight-round bouts: Oscar “Kaboom” Rivas (10-0, 6 KO) vs. Sylvera Louis (4-1, 1 KO), Eric Barrack (7-0, 6 KO) vs. Sheldon Hinton (11-8-1, 4 KO), and Didier Bence (4-0, 2 KO) vs. Stéphane “Brutus” Tessier. Gutsy middleweight Ahmad Cheikho (6-4-2, 5 KO) is also scheduled to be in action. All fights and fighters are subject to change.

For more information visit www.fightnow.com or www.groupeyvonmichel.ca.
About FIGHT NOW TV: With offices in New Jersey, Las Vegas and Toronto, FIGHT NOW TV is a cross-platform media company that creates and distributes content through its television, video on demand, and online outlets.

Founded by Channel Zero, Inc. and media entrepreneur Mike Garrow, FIGHT NOW! TV is the only 24 hours a day, seven days a week combat sports channel in the nation. The network’s mandate is to bring the best battles, fiercest fights and stunning knockouts to America. FIGHT NOW! TV caters to fight fans of every genre, giving them a front row seat to compelling coverage of MMA, boxing, wrestling/grappling, Muay Thai, kickboxing and other combat sports. FIGHT NOW TV is the place for the best analysis, live and current events, documentaries and news coverage of the biggest PPV events and matchups from around the globe.

FIGHT NOW! TV has also enlisted one of the fight game’s biggest names to join its camp, 5-time UFC champion and MMA legend Randy Couture, who serves as both spokesperson and analyst for the channel.

FIGHT NOW! TV, It’s ON! Call Your Television Provider To Order

For more information about FIGHT NOW! TV visit www.fightnow.com, or follow them on Twitter @fightnowtv and Facebook.com/fightnowtv.



World Champion Nathan Cleverly has been forced to withdraw from his World Boxing Organization (WBO) Light-Heavyweight title defence against Robin Krasniqi due to a viral infection.

The unbeaten Welsh star was scheduled to face Kosovan Krasniqi on Saturday 28th April at the Royal Albert Hall in London, but has been unable to train for his fourth title defence.

Hatfield’s Olympic star Billy Joe Saunders, who was chief support on the card, will now replace Cleverly and headline the first night of professional championship boxing to be held at the world famous venue in nearly 13 years when he takes on Tony Hill for the Vacant English Middleweight title.

Joint top of the bill on the show will see Chislehurst’s Sam Webb in a final eliminator for the British Light-Middleweight Championship against Manchester’s hard-hitting Matthew Hall.

A devastated Cleverly said, “I’ve been unable to train because I’ve been laid up in bed with a viral infection and there’s not enough time to make up what I’ve missed in training to make sure I’m fully fit,”

“I’ve taken the advice of my doctor and been told to fully rest before attempting to start training again,”

“I’m really disappointed because I was looking forward to being the first fighter to bring boxing back to the Royal Albert Hall in over a decade and the first of the century,”

“It was a big night for me as Hopkins was facing Dawson on the same night and I was looking to do a good job on Krasniqi to get a fight with the winner,”

“I’m sorry for my fans, but I’m happy that the show will go on and a great talent like Billy Joe Saunders will now be topping the card along with Sam Webb and Matthew Hall which looks like a cracking fight.”

Saunders, the Southern Area Middleweight champion, said, “This is a great chance for me to shine on the show and show my potential,”

“I’m Britain’s next star in the making and to now headline the Royal Albert Hall is dream come true for me and I will put on a fight to remember against Hill.”

Promoter Frank Warren added, “It’s such a shame that Cleverly has been hit with a viral infection and at a crucial time in his training and career,”

“He is unable to fight and he now needs to have a good rest, get himself healthy and resume training before we look to reschedule his title defence,”

“However, Billy Joe Saunders, who is one of the best young talents in Britain right now, is hungry and ready to prove that he is next big thing and this is the perfect occasion for him to do this.”

The rest of the card features some of the best talent in Britain including unbeaten welterweight Bradley Skeete; hard-hitting super-middleweight Frank Buglioni, light-welterweight Bradley Saunders; welterweights Freddie Turner and Dean Byrne.



WBO President, Francisco Valcarcel clarifies the reasons which lead to the sanction of the Nathan Cleverly vs. Robin Krasniqi bout scheduled for April 28, 2012 at the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington, London, despite having previously said that it would not be sanctioned because Nathan Cleverly had to face the mandatory challenger.

Unfortunately though, #1 ranked Dmitry Sukhotsky has managerial issues. He has three different promoters calling the shots for his fights.  Meanwhile, the actual promoter who was awarded the judgment, the boxer doesn’t even want to deal with.  This entire issue is not conducive to anyone attempting to negotiate a contract.

Then, there’s the #2, Braimah Kamoko…  Back in 2006, the BBB of C did not allow Mr. Kamoko to fight in the UK due to cataracts.  He was supposed to resubmit his medical documents.  The WBO attempted to get him approved by the BBB of C, but unfortunately UK’s doctors, denied the necessary permission that would have allowed him to fight in their country.

The sanction given to Cleverly – Krasniqi has the provision that the winner must face the mandatory challenger designated by the WBO within 90 days from the date of the bout; i.e. April 28, 2012.  The WBO has yet to advise the parties who the mandatory challenger will be.  President Valcarcel says that Bernard Hopkins has not been designated the Mandatory Challenger. The WBO has not designated anyone yet so all rumors regarding a Cleverly – Hopkins bout sometime in the summer is just that – rumors.

Light heavyweight Denis Simcic (27-1, 14 KOs) has been added to the March 24 boxing card in Maribor, Slovenia headlined by former world champion Zan Zaveck against Betuel Tyson Ushona. Simcic will face unbeaten Czech Adam Hubinger (14-0, 10 KOs) in a clash for the WBO European belt.

SES Boxing has also announced an exclusive TV deal with Germany’s “Das Vierte” network. “In the current media landscape you must always open up new doors and build new partnerships,” said promoter Ulf Steinforth. “After very good meetings and negotiations with Das Vierte, I am very optimistic that we are now working to build a new power for ‘Live Boxing.’ For our attractive sport, for the boxing fans, for our great boxers, and also for our business partners and sponsors, this added TV platform is an acknowledgment of the good work in recent years and an important new building block for the future. We welcome everyone to the huge ‘Live Boxing’ premiere with Das Vierte on March 24 live from Maribor.”



Undefeated as a professional, Kamoko made his pro debut back in the year 2000 when he defeated Flash Issaka on points. Five years later, Kamoko captured the African Boxing Union Light Heavyweight title by defeating Michael Gbenga by unanimous decision; and would go on to make one defence of that title. In 2011, the boxer known as “Bukom Banku” got an opportunity to fight for the interim WBO Africa Light Heavyweight title against Joseph Rodriguez Olivera. Kamoko would end up winning the bout via 4th round technical knockout. In his next bout, he then callenged Vikapita Meroro for the WBO Africa Light Heavyweight title. Once again, Kamoko defeated Meroro by unanimous decision. On February 25th, he made the 2nd defense of his WBO Africa title at the Accra Sports Stadium against Hamza Wandera, a Ugandan boxer who currently fights out of Sweden

Braimah Kamoko is the pride of Bukom (the area of Accra where he’s from) –and has a huge support base in Accra, where he regularly appears in TV commercials too. He is currently ranked Nr.2 in the Light Heavyweight division.  On February 25th, he made the 2nd defense of his WBO Africa title at the Accra Sports Stadium against Hamza Wandera, a Ugandan boxer who currently fights out of Sweden

 His next defence is due 25th May 2012…



1.) African Boxing Union Light Heavyweight title

2.) WBO Africa Light Heavyweight title

After successfully making a second defence of his WBO Africa Light Heavyweight belt, albeit controversially against Sweden based Ugandan Hamza Wandera, Braimah Kamoko has indicated his readiness to take on the big boys in the division in world boxing.

Banku claimed a 3rd round TKO to secure his win number 23 in 23 professional fights, but it was not without sweat. Wandera had boldly predicted beforehand that he was going to end the Ghanaian nicknamed Bukom Banku’s unbeaten record. Wandera served notice of his intention by scoring a knockdown of Kamoko in the very first round, the first time the Ghanaian showman had ever visited the canvas in his career.

But the unbeaten Bukom Banku bounced back in style and dominated Wandera for the rest of the fight until the Ugandan refused to continue fighting in the 3rd round following complaints that he had been fouled by the Ghanaian boxer. Referee Roger Barnor had no choice than to declare Kamoko the winner.

Even though Wandera has consequently declared his wish for a rematch with international referee and judges, Bukom Banku is less likely to pursue such option because the unbeaten Ghanaian is keen on becoming world champion.

“I’m not sitting down, I’m going forward. I’m going to fight (WBO Light heavyweight champ Nathan) Cleverly for world title. I’ve set a perfect record in my country, now I have to go international.
And I’m more than ready,” the highly eccentric Kamoko indicated after the fight.


By Prince Dornu-Leiku



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.”




Promoter Frank Warren hopes to set Nathan Cleverly up with a big summer bout against Bernard Hopkins in Cardiff.

Welshman Cleverly successfully defended his WBO light-heavyweight title on Saturday night by beating Tommy Karpency on points.

Warren would like his next outing to be at London’s Royal Albert Hall in April – the venue’s first professional boxing bill for 10 years – but a megafight with American veteran Hopkins is where big money could be made.

The Caerphilly fighter, who completely outclassed Karpency in Cardiff en route to a unanimous decision from the judges, has already spoken of his desire to move on to a big unification fight, with the winner of the April 28 WBC title clash between Chad Dawson and Hopkins top of the agenda.

While Warren is looking to put that contest on at the Millennium Stadium or Cardiff City Stadium, he has also revealed he hopes the Welshman will defend his belt in London, also on April 28.

Warren said: “Nathan is coming on in leaps and bounds and all our attention will now of course turn to April 28 and the Bernard Hopkins v Chad Dawson fight, then we will be making a big decision about a fight in the summer.

“In the meantime I have the Royal Albert Hall booked for April 28.

“I don’t know if Nathan will be ready for that but I would not mind him being the guy to take boxing back there.

“There has been no professional boxing there for many, many years, it is probably the best venue in the country, the most prestigious venue and you could not get a better representative for British boxing than Nathan, to showcase taking professional boxing back there.”

As for a potential summer stadium bout in south Wales, which would hark back to the glory days of former super-middleweight king Joe Calzaghe, Warren says his preferred opponent for such a contest is Hopkins, and

defeat to Dawson would not rule the veteran American out of facing Cleverly.

He said: “For me the best fight for Nathan would be Hopkins.

“I have a feeling Dawson may upset the odds when they face each other, he will give him a lot of problems, but I would prefer Hopkins.

“He is a big name, he had a good fight with Joe Calzaghe and if we brought him over and did that show at Cardiff City Stadium or the Millennium Stadium, it would be a great atmosphere with maybe 50,000 people in there.

“Nathan needs big fights, he rises to them and he has great temperament.”

Cleverly, whose victory extended his 100 per cent record to 24 wins from 24 fights, said he would gladly accept the chance to fight Hopkins, and also suggested he would be ready to fight again on Warren’s mooted Royal Albert Hall date.

“I want to go and get a few more fights as champion to keep learning about being world champion,” he said. “This wasn’t a brutal fight so I will be fine for April, it will be good to keep active.”

He added: “I think I am ready to be unified champ.

“Hopkins and Dawson are the elite guys in the division, if you want to be the best those are guys you have to head for.

“I think I will be ready by the summer, if the opportunity came I would grab it with both hands and feel I could win the fight.

“Hopkins is a legend of the sport, an icon in the division, he has that aura. The fans showed their support by coming out tonight and I am sure that would be a good fight.”




Ghanaian boxer Braimah Kamoko a.k.a Bukom Banku had to hit the scales twice this on Friday morning before securing the green card to defend his WBO Africa light heavyweight titles against his Namibian opponent Hamza Wandera at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday.

Bukom Banku failed to meet the required 175 pound weight limit for that category when he exceeded it during the weigh in.

An official of the World Boxing Organization, who was present, ordered it had to be done again after two hours. The Ghanaian boxer was left with his fate in his own hands as he had no option but to lose a couple of pounds in order to keep his title. This means Kamoko would have lost his titles ahead of the fight, if he had failed to meet the required weight expected by the association.

The Ghanaian boxer would have only fought for mere formality and a win would not have still changed the decision to strip him off his titles.
Kamoko was, however, able to shed of a couple of pounds after an hour of intense running and returned to the scales to make the weight.

Meanwhile, his Namibian opponent has rubbished the Ghanaian boxer’s wrath by saying he will send him packing. Bukom Banku also appealed to the Vice President John Dramani Mahama to be present at the Accra Sports Stadium to watch the fight.




WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (24-0, 11 KOs) scored a one-sided, but uninspired twelve round unanimous decision over heavy underdog Tommy Karpency (21-3-1, 14 KOs) on Saturday night at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales. Cleverly was in command all the way, but was never able to sufficiently break through the cover of the defensive-minded Karpency to get the stoppage. Scores were 120-108 on all cards. It was Cleverly’s first fight in his native Wales in almost four years.

“Tommy is very tough,” said Cleverly afterward. “Out of every fighter I’ve fought, he’s punched the hardest so far. And I’ve fought some big punchers…It was a nice performance, a good workout. It was exciting and there’s plenty more to come from me.”

Former WBO cruiserweight champion, now fighting as a light heavyweight, Enzo Maccarinelli (34-5, 27 KOs) dropped journeyman Ciaran Healy (13-18-1, 4 KOs) with a body shot in round two and Healy’s corner threw in the towel moments later.

Unbeaten welterweight prospect and 2008 Olympian Frankie Gavin (12-0, 9 KOs) scored a third round KO over Kevin McIntyre (30-9, 9 KOs). A body shot finished it.




Braimah Kamoko a.k.a “Bukom Banku” would on Saturday, February 25, mount the ring for the first time in the year to fight Hamza Wandera of Uganda in the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Africa Light Heavyweight Championship at the Accra Sports Stadium and has vowed to ‘kill’ his opponent.

Bukom Banku, who enters the ring with an enviable record of 22 fights and 16 knock- outs, with the rest ending the full round, said at a press conference in Accra on Thursday, that his opponent would receive the severe beatings of his boxing career on Saturday.

The two would fight under the promotion syndicate, Golden Concept Boxing Promotions on a night declared as the “Moment of Truth”.

Bukom Banku said “The fight is your judgment day. On the day you would see that you are indeed a cockroach. I would kill you!

“Your people would carry your dead body to Uganda. If you don’t die I would make sure you go home maimed.” Bukom Banku bragged.

He also promised to give his opponent 1000 US dollars for shopping after the fight because he is sure of giving him a fight of his life.

Wandera, who has 14 fights with only two loses said he would give the Ghanaian a taste of defeat in his career.

“I am very angry because I’m here to end the unbeaten run in your career.

“I would eat banku on Saturday, because it is my favourite food. I would beat you on Saturday and take the title to Uganda.” He told the press.

He called on boxing fans to fill the seats on Saturday on time to watch him end the reign of one of the most popular boxers in the country.

Also on the bill are, Martin Haikali of Namibia who would fight Ghana’s Samuel Amoako for the WBO Africa Lightweight Championship, whilst Joshua Okine takes on Amilgan Funes of Argentina for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Inter-Continental Welterweight title.

Eduado Flores of Ecuador and Eben Lamptey would vie for the WBO Africa Super Lightweight title, with Emmanuel Tagoe fighting Miguel Caceris of Argentina in a ten round Super Featherweight contest, whilst Ishmael Aryitey battles Hope Mawuli for the National Featherweight title.




After a four year drought, WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (23-0, 11 KOs) receives a well earned homecoming this Saturday when he defends his WBO belt for a third time against Pennsylvania’s Tommy Karpency (21-2-1, 14 KOs) at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales. An impressive victory will leave Cleverly primely placed for a huge outdoor blockbuster in the summer that could elevate him into an elite level earner.

Cleverly’s assessment top light heavyweights Bernard Hopkins, Chad Dawson, Jean Pascal, Beibut Shumenov and Tavoris Cloud:

For me, Hopkins is number one in our division. He’s the oldest world champion in the record books, a legend, but, with my youth and enthusiasm, I’d definitely fancy it.

I view (WBC king) Dawson as the most dangerous in the division. He’s big at the weight, southpaw, heavy handed and technically good as well. The timing would have to be right for that one, maybe a few more fights down the line.

Pascal is a fight that definitely interests me. I think our styles would really blend well. He’s a big name and a huge draw in his home country. I’d be prepared to go to Canada, if needed. He’s big, strong, powerful, pumped up, explosive but I’d back my speed and stamina to wear him down over the 12 rounds.

Shumenov (the WBA champion) is more inexperienced and that would be a good unification fight, a good stepping stone. He’s young and hungry and he’d definitely give me a tough fight but, from what I saw of him against (Gabriel) Campillo, it’s a fight I should definitely win.

Cloud (IBF boss) is a very vicious fighter; a big puncher who likes to come forward and stamp his authority. He’s an American who’s been given the Jeff Lacy style hype. He’s also quite busy and fit. Like Pascal, I think our styles would mesh well. We all like to fight on the front foot and get involved. It could be very entertaining.

If I could choose, I’d go with unification against either Shumenov or Cloud. Both would be progressive moves towards getting to the very top guys in the division, Hopkins and Dawson.

On former champ Juergen Braehmer, who handed over the title to Cleverly by pulling out of three straight defenses late and getting stripped.

He did make a comeback recently but didn’t look too sharp. He’s too temperamental, too unreliable to line up a fight with.

On a possible fight with former WBC super-middleweight boss Carl Froch, whom Cleverly recently called out:

I just think it makes sense. Two top British fighters, just one weight class apart. It would generate a lot of interest. Carl’s mentioned stepping up before and he’s mentioned my name in the past. We’ve both displayed our heart and guts, both like to stand and trade so it’d sure to be entertaining. If that was offered for this summer, I’d definitely take it. Carl’s tough, has a granite chin so it’d likely be a distance fight but I just think I’d have too much speed and movement.

On looking past Karpency:

The way I train, I don’t need an opponent to get up for. My main focus is always to improve myself; to be sharper, fitter, more technically sound. I’ve just opened a new gym in Aberbargoed and training there, plus the opportunity to fight in Wales again and deliver a spectacular performance for the Welsh fans, provide me with all the motivation I need.




Training camp is close to coming to a finish and WBO world light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly has taken time to reflect on his preparation for The Homecoming at the Motorpoint Arena on February 25th.

Cleverly opened with, “Preparation has been excellent and I’m very, very satisfied with the way it’s gone. Mentally I feel focused and just so excited to go now.”

“I feel as though this is one of the better camps that I’ve done, it’s the best I’ve been in terms of mental focus. I’ve had the right preparation and the right length of time to train for the fight, I was given good notice. It’s been a good camp and one of the best I’ve done.”

Predominantly training at the new facility of the Planet Fitness gym in Aberbargoed has provided Cleverly with a larger ring and it’ll be put to good use one last time before fight night.

“I’ll have another good hard spar, one more before the fight and then I think that will be the final hard session before the fight and before we start tapering it down.” he explained.

The opponent will be American southpaw Tommy Karpency whose stance presents an added element to adjust to but Cleverly’s confident of enforcing himself on Karpency.

He said, “As always, I’m focusing on more what I can do in the fight, what I can improve on and I’ve been learning some things myself.”

“Obviously I’ve had a little look at Karpency to get an idea of what he’s about – his stance, style, the way he fights but I’m more concentrating on my technique and taking that into the ring.”





Nathan Cleverly insists it would be a “recipe for disaster” to underestimate Tommy Karpency at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on February 25.

WBO light-heavyweight champion Cleverly has been matched against the little-known American for his homecoming fight.

While the unbeaten 24-year-old from Cefn Fforest hopes to treat the expected sell-out 5,000 crowd to a fine spectacle, he has ruled out complacency creeping into his preparations.

“It would be absolutely stupid and naive to underestimate any opponent in boxing, especially in a world title fight,” he said.

“It would be recipe for disaster. A lot of people have written Tommy off, but they’re not the ones who are stepping into the ring.

“When you face another trained fighter, you must be on your game, especially at this level.

“I’ve prepared even better than I have for any other fight.

“Tommy’s got nothing to lose and can give it everything knowing there’s a big prize at the end of the line.

“It’s my ambition to remain unbeaten and prevent that from happening.

“I want to enjoy the performance and put on a good display of boxing.

“It could go the distance and the most important thing is that physically and mentally I’m prepared to go 12 rounds.”

The unheralded Karpency has lost two of his 24 fights and had most people scratching their heads when he was unveiled as Cleverly’s next opponent.

But the 26-year-old from Pennsylvania insists he is capable of causing a major upset.

“I’m not sure who Nathan was in negotiations with for this fight, but for me this is the pinnacle of the sport, a world championship bout,” he said.

“The reason I was chosen as an opponent doesn’t affect my drive to win whatsoever.

“I’ve gone through my whole career without a promoter, my father’s my trainer and manager.

“I’ve been written off and that doesn’t really bother me, but I imagine Nathan’s camp haven’t written me off.

“I believe I can beat any light-heavyweight in the world. If I didn’t, I shouldn’t be in sport.”



World Boxing Organization (WBO) world light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly expects the Welsh and British boxing fans to be at their very best when he makes his long awaited homecoming on February 25th.

Cleverly will face American Tommy Karpency in the 3rd defence of his world title as he headlines the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. He’ll be fighting in front of his own Welsh fans for the first time in 4 years and there are just a few hundred tickets left before the show sells out.

“The atmosphere is going to be awesome on the night. It’s going to be a sold out arena and such a good atmosphere. It’s going to give me a great buzz and there’s a good buzz around the fight. I’m excited to come out to an atmosphere like this, it’s going to be electric”, Cleverly commented.

Despite it being the first time that Cleverly will have headlined a show in his homeland, he’s aware that he mustn’t fall for the pitfalls of fighting at home.

“It would be very easy to get carried away once I hear the atmosphere. It would be easy to slip off my plan and go all guns blazing. But I know I can deal with the occasion and the pressure and I’m looking forward to going out and enjoying myself.” said Cleverly.

In the opposition corner will be Karpency and Cleverly is sure that he’ll have not seen any crowd like it before.

He said, “When Karpency hears the atmosphere from the crowd and then he has to deal with me putting it on him in the ring when the first bell goes then he knows he’s in the deep and it’s going to be a very difficult night for Karpency all round.”



Nathan Cleverly is hoping to help “bring the glory days back to Wales” when he takes on the “dangerous” Tommy Karpency at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on February 25.

The WBO light-heavyweight champion is busy preparing for his title defence, which will be his first fight in Wales since 2007, and is looking forward to having the eyes of the sporting world on Cardiff and Wales that weekend.

Hours before his clash with American Karpency, Wales collide with England at Twickenham, while Cardiff meet Liverpool in the Carling Cup final on Sunday at Wembley.

“It’s a great weekend of sport and it’s great to be involved,” the 24-year-old told the Daily Mail. “I can see why there could be potential pressure on me but I’m just enjoying the occasion, which I think will enhance my performance.

“It’s a big deal for myself, and for Welsh boxing; hopefully we can bring the glory days back to Wales. To come home as world champion is a special occasion.

“Training is going well, everything is on track. It’s just a case of focusing for the last three weeks.”

Many are tipping Cleverly to make light work of his opponent, but Karpency has never been stopped in 24 fights.

“He is tough,” said Cleverly. “He has operated at cruiserweight so he’s a strong fighter. He’s got not nothing to lose and there’s no pressure on him, so he’s potentially dangerous. He’s a trained fighter so he’s capable of causing an upset just like anyone else.”

Should Cleverly manage to safely negotiate his way past the challenge in front of him, bigger fights await the Welshman.

“After this fight we’ll be looking to get straight on the case and have a unification fight in the summer. Bernard Hopkins is regarded as No. 1 in the division and I know he’s got a big fight with Chad Dawson coming up. These guys are the ones you target to become the best you can.”



The return of unbeaten world title aspirant Braimah Kamoko against Sweden based Ugandan Hamza Wandera on February 25 in Ghana will now take place at the Accra Sports Stadium instead of the previously announced Accra International Conference Centre, we can report.

Voted the WBO’s Africa Boxer of the year 2011, Kamoko, famously called Bukom Banku, 22-0, 16 KOs, takes on the 28 year old Wandera 14-3, 12 KOs in a second defence of the WBO Africa Light Heavyweight title he first won back in January last year.

The fight is the headliner of first promotion of the year by GoldenMike Boxing Promotions led by CEO Mike Tetteh.

Also defending their titles on the same bill are hot prospects Joshua Okine and Emmanuel Tagoe AKA Game Boy. Okine takes on Amilcar Funes of Argentina for his IBF Intercontinental Welterweight belt whereas Game Boy defends his IBF Intercontinental Super Featherweight title against Santos Benavides of Nicaragua.

Also fighting on February 25 at the Accra Sports Stadium are Ghana’s Samuel Amoako versus Martin Haikali of Namibia for WBO Africa Lightweight belt and another Ghanaian Ebenezer Lamptey against Ecuadorian Eduardo Flores for WBO Africa Super Lightweight title.

The night is completed by the national Featherweight championship between Ishmael Aryeetey and Samuel Adotei as well as Isaac Nettey versus Joshua Barnor in a final eliminator to the national Super Bantamweight title.


By Prince Dornu-Leiku:


NATHAN Cleverly is capturing the imagination of the sporting public in South Wales.

Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena is hosting Clev’s WBO light-heavyweight title defence against Tommy Karpency on February 25 and has a boxing capacity of just under 5,000.

Only 900 tickets are left for the show and with four weeks to go a sell-out is on the cards.

“The atmosphere is going to be awesome,” Cleverly told me this week. “It’s going to be a sold-out arena and that’s going to give me a great buzz.

“It’s so exciting to know I’m going to come out to an atmosphere like this, it’s going to be electric.

“It’s difficult to gauge my fan base really because I haven’t fought at home for such a long time.

“But it’s very impressive that people are coming out to support me and it means a lot, it really does.

“Hopefully I can return the favour and put on a great performance for the fans.”

Cleverly’s ‘homecoming’ is in the middle of a huge weekend for Welsh sport.

Wales are in Six Nations action against England at Twickenham on the Saturday afternoon, while many of Clev’s fans could be at Wembley the following day to see Cardiff City play in the Carling Cup final.

Clev is a big City fan himself and is hoping for a weekend to remember.

“I hope we can make it a real successful and exciting weekend,” he said.

“It would be very easy to get carried away once I hear the crowd, slip off my plan and go all guns blazing.

“But I know I can deal with the occasion and the pressure and I’m looking forward to enjoying myself.

“When the first bell goes he’ll soon know he’s in deep, it’s going to be a very difficult night for Karpency all round.”

British and Commonwealth featherweight champion Lee Selby will be on the undercard on February 25 – and Cleverly is confident the Barry boxer will be joining him at the top soon.

Selby burst onto the scene in 2011 when he won his belts by knocking out the highly-touted Stephen Smith and then dismissing domestic veteran John Simpson.

“He has the potential to come as far as I have and push on now,” said Cleverly.

“He’s very talented and there’s no reason why he can’t get to world level.

“He’s got the boxing ability and skills and I definitely think he can follow in my footsteps.”

Both men are 24 and the pair shared much of their amateur days together.

“We came through together. We were always in the Welsh championships and he was a couple of weights below me,” recalled Clev.

“I’ve always known he’s had class and he’s showing that in the professional ranks now, he’s coming through very well.

“He took his opportunity to win the British and Commonwealth titles unexpectedly, but it wasn’t really a surprise to the people who knew him.

“He’s always had pedigree and I think he’s a very good fighter.”

I’m delighted to say I’m working with Team Cleverly on a VIP package to include pre-show hospitality and an after-show party on February 25.

WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (23-0, 11 KO’s) is supposedly going to be stepping it up a couple levels after his mismatch with Tommy Karpency (21-2-1, 14 KO’s) next month on February 25th and start facing some good fighters for a change.

From what I’m hearing is that the 24-year-old Cleverly is hoping to bag 47-year-old WBC light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins next for a fight that Cleverly hopes will be taking place in Wales. Cleverly’s already been soundly rejected by Carl Froch, who’s only interested in fighting well known guys rather than an unknown guy like Cleverly who is doing it wrong in terms of building his popularity with his soft matchmaking.

Karpency isn’t someone that will make it easy for Cleverly to look good against. If you’ve seen any of Karpency’s fights, and I’ve had the displeasure of seeing several of them, he usually tries to punch a little at first, but then begins to fall in for clinch after clinch.

We saw this in fights against Karo Murat, Chuck Mussachio and Erik Howard. If he’s got a weak opponent in front of him, Karpency can take them out fairly quickly. Feed a C level guy and Karpency is a terror. But you put in with a B level fighter like Murat and Cleverly, and you’ll see Karpency stall out.

This isn’t going to be the kind of fight that will raise Cleverly’s stature among boxing fans. He needs someone better than this that can at least test him a little. I don’t what the disconnect is with Cleverly’s soft matchmaking. I mean he was put in with a number #13 fighter in his last bout against Tony Bellew and now he’s being matched against Karpency, who isn’t even ranked at all by the WBO. What happened to champions fighting top five opposition? Is that not good enough for Cleverly or what? So he’s going to go from a non-top 15 opponent into a unification bout with Hopkins or Beibut Shumenov? If I was those guys I would completely ignore Cleverly until he starts facing top five opponents and proving he can beat them instead of being matched against the bottom of the division over and over again.


By Scott Gilfoid:


WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (23-0, 11KOs) is wondering why super middleweight Carl Froch (28-2, 20KOs) is refusing to fight him. Cleverly feels Froch is possibly being arrogant in his refusal of a fight, especially one that would generate a lot of money with the British market. In a recent interview, Froch said he wasn’t too impressed with Cleverly and didn’t consider him as a hard opponent. If the fight is that easy, then Cleverly wonders why Froch is not signing a contract.

“Yes, possible [Froch is being arrogant]. I just think business wise it would make clear sense and it would be a great fight. I know he would have to step up a weight division but like I said it would [give him a chance] to become a two-weight champion. And if its going to such an easy fight for him, then why not do it,” Cleverly told Sky Sports.


By Edward Chaykovsky


WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (23-0, 11 KO’s) didn’t look at all good in his last fight against Tony Bellew and looked about as bad in his fight before that against Aleksy Kuziemski. So this time, Cleverly is facing an arguably even weaker opponent in Tommy Karpency (21-2-1, 14 KO’s) on February 25th, at the Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales.

This time Cleverly is certain he’ll look good. It’s just too bad that he had to be matched up against a guy that’s not even ranked in the top 15 by the World Boxing Organization for him to shine. Cleverly got a win over Bellew last time out in October and few boxing fans saw Cleverly winning that fight. A lot of boxing fans, this writer included, saw it as a draw.

Cleverly is still moving forward rather than taking a big risk and fighting the #13 WBO ranked Bellew again and possibly losing this time. So instead of a dangerous fighter or someone at least ranked in the top five, Karpency has been found for Cleverly and that’s who he’ll be facing in front of his home fans in Wales.

I don’t know how Cleverly can do this. I mean when you fight a bottom #13 opponent like Bellew, aren’t you supposed to fight your mandatory next? How is it Cleverly is now able to fight a guy like Karpency who isn’t even ranked in the top 15 by the WBO? If they’re going to suddenly rank Karpency near the top, they’re really lagging because he’s still not even ranked in the top 15 by the WBO. I see him at #10 by the WBA, but that’s not the WBO.

Cleverly told walesonline.co.uk “It’s a fight I should and will win because I’ll break him down and look good doing it.”

You think? Yeah, I think Cleverly will look good but look at who he had to fight for that to happen. If a champion has to dig up non-top 15 ranked contenders just to look good then boxing is in pretty bad shape.

Cleverly expects to fight 47-year-old Bernard Hopkins or Beibut Shumenov in the summer in Wales. Let me be the first to say this: It’s not going to happen, at least not in Wales. Those guys aren’t going to go to Wales and risk losing by a hometown decision. I’m sure they would love to fight Cleverly because they see what I see him in him – a vulnerable fighter that just went life and death with a fighter ranked #13. But Hopkins and Shumenov sure as heck won’t go to Wales and make it easy for Cleverly to win a controversial decision. That isn’t going to happen even if they get a good payday by agreeing to fight Cleverly there.


By Scott Gilfoid:


World Boxing Organization (WBO) African boxer of the year Braimah Kamoko AKA Bukom Banku makes a return to the ring on February 25 when he makes a defence of his WBO Africa Light heavyweight belt against Kenyan Hamza Wandera in Accra.

Victory for the unbeaten Kamoko, 22-0, 16 KOs will move him closer to a fight against world champion Nathan Cleverly later in the year. Banku’s fight is the headliner of the first promotion of the year in Ghana put up by Golden Mike Boxing Promotions led by CEO Mike Tetteh slated for the plush Accra International Conference Centre.


By Prince Dornu-Leiku