Vince Cleverly: Nathan wasn’t ready for Kovalev, will return stronger

Phil Jay 12/09/2013

Former world light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly can only learn from his recent defeat to big-punching Russian Sergey Kovalev and will be back with a vengeance, according to father and trainer Vince.

Nathan, 26, was defeated in four rounds by knockout-artist Kovalev on home soil at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff last month, the first defeat of his career, and is taking some time out of the sport to figure out where he goes next.

Under the guidance of Vince, Nathan made five successful defences of the WBO belt, but is now collaborating with his father to plan their next move as rumours continue to grow that both are considering a new training strategy going forward.

With retirement talk post-fight mere speculation, world-renowned American trainer Freddie Roach has been put forward as one possible name to revive Cleverly’s fortunes, although Vince says nothing concrete is in place.

“No plans have made at all yet regarding what we will do next,” Vince told World Boxing News.

“Nath is still coming to terms with what happened against Kovalev, but people should remember that Nath has had only 60 fights in the whole of his career, whilst Kovalev with his amateur experience had 240. That is a big difference and I am sure if they ever met again the fight could have a different result.

“I for one did not want this fight to take place for at least another 18 months,” he explained.

“I did not feel that Nath was ready for Kovalev but ones best success comes after their greatest disappointments. We can only learn from this defeat, but I am sure Nath will return bigger and stronger in more ways than one. It’s onwards and upwards!”

Cleverly missed out on what could have the biggest night of his career against legendary veteran Bernard Hopkins when suffering the sole loss of his 27-fight resume, although does have time on his side and will certainly be able to come again soon.

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