The Welsh ace defends his WBO World Light-Heavyweight title for the sixth time against the steel-fisted Kovalev live and exclusive in the UK on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546) and in the US on HBO.
Cleverly met with the media at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena today to publicise his titanic clash along with the some of the other fighters on the card and says it will be a night to remember.
“August 17th can’t come quick enough for me. Kovalev has built this reputation of fear for his devastating knockouts, which to anybody looks pretty impressive. When I saw the KO’s it excited me and I said I’ve got to have this guy,” Said Cleverly
“I’m actually looking forward to getting in the ring with him and seeing what he’s got. He’ll be looking to take my head clean off and I Iove that feeling of having the adrenalin surging around my body,”
“I’ll have the fans watching in the arena and the viewers watching live on BoxNation in the UK and on HBO in America, it’s a lot of pressure, but I thrive off it and the better I’ll perform,”
“He won’t be able to hit what he can’t see and I’ll be throwing five, six, seven punches to every one punch he throws. One things for sure this will be an exciting fight and I’ll have a new army of fans on both sides of the Atlantic after it.”
British Super-Featherweight Champion Gary Buckland and challenger Stephen Smith also came head-to-head and both are promising an explosive fight in the chief-support.
Cardiff hero Buckland, who’s promoter Ricky Hatton is staging this contest on the show, said, “It’s great to fight in front of my Cardiff home fans again and they’ll lift me to a sensational and memorable victory. You’ve got two of the best fighters at the weight in Britain with the prestigious Lonsdale belt on the line and it’s bound to be a cracker.”
Liverpool star Smith, a former British and Commonwealth Champion at featherweight, said, “Buckland is good champion, but winning this title and becoming British champion again means everything to me. I’ve moved up in weight, I’m bigger, stronger and still as fast. I can’t say how I’m going to win, but I’m leaving the ring with the British title.”
Commonwealth Light-Heavyweight Champion Ovill McKenzie and challenger Enzo Maccrinelli clash in the highly-anticipated rematch in the joint-chief supporting contest.
The first fight in November last year ended in a storm of controversy when the referee stepped and stopped the fight in the second round after Macarinelli was on the receiving end of a barrage of punches.
Both fighters say business will be settled once and for all on the night with a clear winner emerging.
McKenzie said, “This is unfinished business for me and we’ll be carrying on where we left off last year. I was on the way to knocking Maccarinelli out in the first fight but the referee stepped in.
“That was then, this is now,” Said Maccarinelli. “I’m just happy the rematch is on and I’ve got the chance to prove what I would’ve done to McKenzie first time round anyway. I’m not taking anything away from him, he’s a good fighter, heavy handed and very tough, but I know I’ve got the beating of him.”
A fourth title on the stacked card sees unbeaten Welsh prospect Lewis Rees take on Belfast’s Stephen Haughian for the Vacant Celtic Welterweight Championship, subject to final approval from the British Boxing Board of Control.
Three exciting talents who represent the next generation of Welsh stars will make their professional debuts on the show: Bridgend cruiserweight Danni Griffiths, Maesteg middleweight Aled Cook and Blackwood lightweight Rhys Evans.
Completing the card are Blacwood super-featherweight Craig Evans, Clydach Vale middleweight Liam Williams and a terrific light-middleweight showdown between Edinburgh’s unbeaten John Thain and Oldham’s Ronnie Heffron.