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Page last updated at 10:48 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 11:48 UK

Cleverly leaves Calzaghe stable

Nathan Cleverly and Enzo Calzaghe
Calzaghe has trained Cleverly since he turned pro in 2005

British light-heavyweight title challenger Nathan Cleverly has left the renowned Joe Calzaghe stable.

The unbeaten hope says he does not want to risk his career being affected by the legal feud between the Calzaghe camp and his promoter Frank Warren.

Warren's company Sports Network and Joe Calzaghe are set to embark on a High Court legal battle.

"I don't want boxing politics to detrimentally affect my boxing career," said the 21-year-old Cleverly.

Sports Network claims unbeaten world champion Calzaghe, who ended his 12-year association with Warren and Sports Network in June, broke a verbal contract with the company to promote his further fights.

But Calzaghe's defence denies that and alleges Calzaghe is owed at least 2.43m ($4.55m) by Sports Network for his defeat of American great Bernard Hopkins in April.

Frank Warren and Enzo Calzaghe
Nathan's decision to leave Enzo's gym is very much his own

Promoter Frank Warren

Welsh superstar Calzaghe hailed former stable-mate and sparring partner Cleverly - whose British title tilt against experienced champion Dean Francis is next month - as "his protege" and a "future world champion".

But Cleverly has now left his "hero" to train at his father Vince Cleverly's gym at Church Place Amateur Boxing Club in the South Wales town of Bargoed.

And Cleverly, who fought on the Calzaghe v Hopkins undercard in Las Vegas, has put his career in the hands of top promoter Warren.

"I cannot take any chances with my career," said Cleverly.

"I take boxing very seriously and want to be world champion. Hopefully Frank can sort that out for me.

"I have been trained by Enzo Calzaghe for six years since my youth days so leaving him has been one of the hardest decision I've ever had to make.

"Enzo is largely responsible for where I am in my career and I cannot thank him enough for what he has done for me.

"But my dad has always played a part in my coaching and big-fight preparation so this will not disrupt my training for the Dean Francis fight."

Warren said: "Yes, Nathan does have a very bright future. But I have no problem with Enzo Calzaghe and have a great working relationship with him.

"So Nathan's decision to leave Enzo's gym is very much his own."

Enzo Calzaghe has so far not commented on Cleverly's decision. Cleverly takes on 34-year-old Francis on 10 October at the Everton Park Sports Centre in Liverpool.

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