Nathan Cleverly vs Sergey Kovalev Preview August 17
Britain’s Nathan Cleverly will be attempting to defend his WBO Light Heavyweight Crown against challenger Sergey Kovalev in front of his home fans at the Motorpoint arena in Cardiff, Wales this Saturday Aug. 17. The 12-round contest is being aired across North America by HBO. It will be the sixth defence of the title for the undefeated Welshman and this could very well be his toughest opponent yet since turning pro back in 2005.
The 26-year-old champion enters the ring with a perfect record of 26-0 along with 12 Kos. He’s faced some good opponents down the line such as Robin Krasniqi, Tony Bellew, and Karo Murat. He has a fine jab, head movement, long-range skills, and a solid chin. He’s also a pretty good inside fighter too. His opponent, the 30-year-old Sergey Kovalev hails from Russia and also boasts an unbeaten record of 21-0-1 with 19 Kos to his name.
Kovalev’s fists are full of power and he enjoyed an excellent amateur career before turning pro in 2009. He’s quite accurate with his punches and can control the distance of his opponent’s effectively. However, he usually doesn’t win fights with his boxing skills as he typically stops his opponents before they have a chance of hearing the final bell.
This is a good matchup due to their styles. Cleverly is intelligent and has quick hands. He also possesses good footwork and will try to outbox Kovalev. The challenger won’t mind going toe-to-toe with Cleverly if he has the chance due to his superior power. It’s important that Cleverly keeps busy and doesn’t stand around doing nothing. If he does, he’ll end up paying for it.
Kovalev will try to press the action from the opening bell and be the aggressor. He knows he’s fighting in the champion’s backyard and a decision victory isn’t going to be easy to get unless he dominated Cleverly just about every round. Kovalev has a lot of motivation for this fight since he’ll earn a shot at the IBF title which is held by American Bernard Hopkins if he wins.
Kovalev stands six-feet tall with a 72.5-inch reach While Cleverly is close to 6-foot-2 with a 74-inch reach. Cleverly has fought better opposition so far in his career and it’ll be interesting to see how Kovalev handles this step up in class.
This is a matador vs bull scenario and Cleverly should be able to rack up some rounds early on. If his chin can take the punishment he should be able to hang on for a decision win. However, it’s also easy to envision Kovalev pouring on the pressure in the second half of the fight and eventually catching up to the champion with his power. This is the more likely of the two scenarios and Kovalev will probably score a late stoppage to take the title home with him
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds of a Kovalev win at -110 and a Cleverly victory also at -110. Visit 5Dimes.eu to see up to date odds and to bet on this fight. You should also check out our recent boxing betting predictions to see how we’ve done of late capping the fights.