Nathan Cleverly and Tommy Karpency gear up for WBO fight on Feb 25

21 Feb

Tommy Barber – London

Reigning WBO light heavyweight world champion Nathan Cleverly returns to the ring on Saturday, February 25 to defend his belt against American southpaw Tommy Karpency at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. In order to ready himself for the fight, Cleverly has changed gyms and focused on improving his own skill-set, rather than study and find flaws in his 26-year-old opponent.

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“Preparation has been excellent and I’m very, very satisfied with the way it’s gone,” said Cleverly, who makes the third defence of his world title having already slain Aleksy Kuziemski and Tony Bellew during his tenure atop the WBO charts. “Mentally I feel focused and just so excited to go now.”

Predominantly trained by Vince Cleverly, the father and son duo have swapped gyms and hit the mitts and engaged in strength and conditioning work at a new facility; the Planet Fitness Gym in Aberbargoed, a small town in Caerphilly, the Welsh county Clev (23-0-0, 11ko) resides in.

“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,” Cleverly explained.

“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.

“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.”

The last time Cleverly boxed a southpaw was in 2008, during his time as champion of the Commonwealth when he knocked Douglas Otieno Okola out in four rounds. Almost four years have passed since he defeated the 30-year-old Kenyan but Cleverly appears unfazed about facing a portside pug after such a lengthy spell tackling orthodox fighters as, instead of assessing Karpency’s posturing, he has sought to improve his own style during current camp.

“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. 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.”

What is particularly noteworthy about the duel, is that it is staged in Wales, a country that has not hosted world championship boxing since a thrilling super middleweight unification fight in 2007, between Joe Calzaghe and Mikkel Kessler… a bout that was watched by 55,000 fans at the gate inside the Millenium Stadium.

“I think there’s a lot more hype around the fight, there’s more of a buzz and a lot of excitement because it’s a homecoming event. A lot of people are looking forward to the event and it’s been a long time since a world title fight has taken place in Wales – so for me to bring that back is a special personal feeling for me,” Cleverly concluded.

His opponent, Karpency (21-2-0, 14ko), has been training mostly in Pennsylvania and, like Cleverly, is coached by his father; Tom Karpency Sr. Junior has never stepped up to world championship level before but has boxed abroad, albeit resulting in defeat to Karo Murat in Oldenburg, Germany.

A fighter, Karpency has noted, that also appears on Cleverly’s resume. Nathan, though, defeated Murat but Karpency is buoyed by the competitive nature of that tussle and believes he also has tools that will ask questions of the champion.

(Embedded video above credit – YouTube, Heraldstandardmedia)

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One Response to “Nathan Cleverly and Tommy Karpency gear up for WBO fight on Feb 25”


  1. News: Jan – June « On The Beak - November 18, 2012

    […] Nathan Cleverly and Tommy Karpency gear up for WBO fight on Feb 25 […]

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