Cleverly v Krasniqi tentatively set for March 16
Light-heavyweight world champion Nathan Cleverly will have home advantage for his next defence of the WBO title after promoter Frank Warren won the purse bid for his mandatory clash with Robin Krasniqi next year.
The pair are set to meet on March 16 at a venue in the UK following Warren’s success in gaining the rights to stage the bout – which will take place almost a year after the two were originally scheduled to face-off.
Cleverly, 25, pulled out of their April 28th headliner at the Royal Albert Hall through illness weeks before the fight and was ordered by the WBO the rearrange Krasniqi’s title chance as the Welshman pursued a high-profile fight with Bernard Hopkins.
Former pound for pound star Hopkins is now hoping to be given the all clear by the IBF to challenge their champion Tavoris Cloud on March 9 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. That leaves Cleverly free to deal with his obligations with the WBO before re-igniting a possible unification with ‘B-Hop’ if the American can regain the world title at the age of 48.
25 year-old Krasniqi, who hasn’t lost in his last 38 bouts stretching back six years, has kept himself busy with knockout victories over previously unbeaten Serdar Sahin and US journeyman Max Heyman whilst awaiting an agreement for his title shot.
The Serbian-born German lost two of his first three professional contests, but has never been stopped and will represent a fifth title defence for Cefn Forest-based Cleverly in the spring.