WBO light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly hopes to use his latest title defence against Tommy Karpency as the springboard for a high-profile unification bout this summer.
Cleverly, 25, is the overwhelming favourite to retain his crown at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena tonight against Pennsylvania southpaw Karpency.
While Caerphilly fighter Cleverly has been quick to talk of his opponent’s qualities, Karpency has lost just two of his 24 fights, it would be a major surprise if he does not record a comfortable victory to extend his undefeated record to 24 bouts. And while his focus is on Karpency, Cleverly already has a few ideas of who he would like to face next.
He said: “Provided we come through this in a good fashion I think there would be a unification fight not too far down the line. Fighters like (WBA champion Beibut) Shumenov or (IBF belt-holder Tavoris) Cloud, I would definitely like to fight one of those guys.
“There is also the Chad Dawson against (WBC champion) Bernard Hopkins fight coming up and I wouldn’t mind facing the winner of that. I think that fight will happen in the future but I think that would be towards the back end of 2012, but that could happen in the foreseeable future.”
For now, though, Cleverly is gearing up for his first fight on home soil in almost four years, and, after a tough training camp, the Welshman says he is raring to go.
“I feel good, it’s been a long camp but mentally I feel satisfied which is of No 1 importance,” he said. “Physically I feel good, so we are ready for the big night, it’s satisfying to go into one of the biggest nights of my life, my homecoming, in such a good position.”