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Nathan Cleverly 'confident' ahead of world title defence

Caerphilly boxer Nathan Cleverley says he is "confident" ahead of his world title defence against Badou Jack in Las Vegas.

Credit: onny Hartmann/DPA/PA Images

The 30-year-old insists the fight, which is on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor will prove the "real, real fight" amid next week's "freak event".

Sergey Kovalev, Tony Bellew, Andrzej Fonfara and Juergen Braehmer are among those Cleverly has had punishing fights with before signing to fight Sweden's Jack, and within that he also believes McGregor does not deserve his big chance.

The chief support, you've got the real, real fight between myself and Jack. Two genuine, world-class operators putting it on the line.

This could be the real fight of the night, and I'm looking to capitalise on that.

(Mayweather-McGregor is) one of these once-in-a-blue-moon fantasy fights:

it's captured the public's imagination. It's massive: the magnitude and scale of this event. It's a great opportunity for us, that this fight is part of this show. Mayweather deserves that pinnacle position in boxing; McGregor that pinnacle position in UFC. Does he deserve the opportunity in boxing? No, but can you blame him for making it happen? No you can't. Fair play for the work they've put in in the gym and outside it as well, and making this a one-off, freak event.

– Nathan Cleverly, WBA HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION
Credit: Ronny Hartmann/DPA/PA Images

Confirmation of Cleverly's match-up with Jack had been expected soon after that of the main event but only came last week, little over a fortnight before they actually fight.

It was quite possibly a ploy but it's expected in boxing, in all walks of life, Everyone's at it, so it's how you handle it.

I handle those situations:

it's just part and parcel of boxing and the business. I was very optimistic the fight was going to get made and we'd cross the line and get it done. In preparation, even though it wasn't official, I was always getting ready for August 26, so it made no difference to me. Either way, whether it was a ploy or not, we're trained up 100 per cent, ready to do business, not messing around.

We're going to Vegas to turn up, get the gloves on, get in that ring, do the business, and get home. It's down to me, and I'm confident in myself.

– Nathan Cleverly, WBA HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION