Is Nathan Cleverly British Boxing's next sporting great?

Boxing Gloves

British boxing is currently going through somewhat of a rejuvenation it would be fair to say.

Six World Champions - including the likes of Carl Froch and Ricky Burns - three European Champions and a plethora of exciting young talents coming through are all reasons for optimism.

Tie that in with the success of Great Britain on the Olympic front and it's blatantly clear to see that this is an exciting time to be involved in the sport.

It will not have gone unnoticed however amongst the boxing fraternity of victory for arguably the brightest talent of the lot on Saturday night, a Welshman by the name of Nathan Cleverly.

Cleverly has been slowly grinding out a name for himself in his boxing career, barely heard of outside of those with a deep knowledge of the sport a year ago but holds an unbeaten 26 fight record.

His career path holds many similarities to that of retired countryman Joe Calzaghe. Calzaghe, like Cleverly, managed his early fights steadily, not rushing in to bouts he knew he wasn't ready for, an attitude that Cleverly has sensibly applied too.

Both boxers careers were defined by the training of Calzaghe's father too - Enzo - a huge influence in both fighters careers and Frank Warren, the infamous match promoter.

And it now looks very possible that Cleverley's future could see him battle against boxing great Bernard Hopkins, one of Calzaghe's final fights as a professional. The 48 year old is firmly in the sights of Cleverley, keen to finally get the show stopping name to add to his CV.

However before that Jurgen Brahmer stands in his way, a mandatory defence of his WBO Light Heavyweight. Whilst the German would provide possibly his worthiest test to date, Cleverly will be confident of adding a 27th victory to his record.

It is time to take the next step for Nathan Cleverly. If he can secure a fight with Hopkins, then there's every chance that we could be witnessing Cleverley's turning point in the road to stardom. It's only a matter of time before we see him alongside the big boys of boxing.

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