Boxing: Nathan Cleverly left in limbo by WBO order

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FRANK Warren is in discussion with the WBO after they refused to sanction Nathan Cleverly’s proposed world title defence against Robin Krasniqi.

It was announced this morning that Cleverly would put his WBO light-heavyweight belt on the line against the Germany-based Serbian at the Royal Albert Hall on 28 April. But the WBO president Francisco Valcarcel reacted swiftly by claiming that, having beaten Tommy Karpency last month, Cleverly must now face a mandatory opponent.

“Francisco Valcarcel commented that the bout between Nathan Cleverly and Robin Krasniqi can’t and won’t be sanctioned,” read a statement. “Nathan Cleverly’s fight with Karpency was sanctioned with the provision that the winner meet his mandatory opponent 120 days from the day of the bout.”

A spokesman for Warren confirmed the promoter is in talks with the WBO in the hope of resolving the impasse. Earlier, Cleverly had spoken of the challenge posed by little-known Krasniqi and his delight at the prospect of boxing at the Royal Albert Hall.

The 25-year-old’s proposed fourth title defence would be the first time a fight at that level has been staged at the Royal Albert Hall since 1995.