By: UK Boxing Writer Peter Mann 

Nathan Cleverly, 25, is now eyeing up a summer showdown with the light heavyweight divisions top fighter, Bernard Hopkins, at the Millenium Stadium in Wales.

However, before that mouth-watering prospect becomes a reality, Cleverly, the current WBO Light Heavyweight champion, puts his title on the line on Saturday night against the American southpaw, Tommy Karpency. Not only is Cleverly’s title on the line but also undefeated record of 23(11)-0 against the 25 year old Pennsylvanian, when the two collide at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.
Cleverly though has publicly stated that he wouldn’t be underestimating his opponent in front of the 5,000 sell out crowd. Facing up to the little known American though, Cleverley is optimistic, even if the two fighters have similar records, the Welshman has been the more productive of the two.

Both fighters have impressive fight records with Karpency entering the bout with a 21(14)-1-2 record of his own, and has never been stopped over this time. The two defeats which Karpency has endured have been via unanimous decision points against Rayco Saunders in July 2008 and to Karo Murat in May 2010’s WBO Inter Continental light heavyweight title bout. Murat would then go on to lose his next fight though, to Cleverly just four months later.

Cleverly though also enters the ring with the added experience of some ten title fights in his last eleven since October 2008, that victory over Murat being the only non-title bout. Both Cleverly and Karpency go into this bout though having won their last fight, although Karpency has not been in the ring for some twelve months, defeating Andre Hemphill in February 2011. Cleverly on the other hand would defeat the impressive Tony Bellew just four months ago.

After Saturday’s bout with Karpency, Cleverly, as mentioned at the outset, has Bernard Hopkins firmly in his sights. In a recent interview with Cleverly he would be quoted saying that “right now Hopkins is the best light heavyweight in the world and one of the sport’s greatest fighters. I have spoken to Frank Warren about the fight taking place and I know people are making some serious moves to make it a reality. It would be one of the great fights in British Boxing history and that is the type of fight the fans want to see.”But first Cleverly must oust Karpency in an eagerly anticipated title bout.

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