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Page last updated at 11:16 GMT, Thursday, 16 July 2009 12:16 UK

McGuigan backs Cleverly for title

Cleverly ready for glory nights

Boxing great Barry McGuigan says Nathan Cleverly will win Saturday's British light-heavyweight clash with rival unbeaten prospect Danny McIntosh.

"[McIntosh is] tipped by Jon Thaxton and his mates in Norwich to win," said McGuigan ahead of the York Hall bout.

"I don't see that. I saw McIntosh finish off Steven Spartacus... last October. That was a struggle.

"Cleverly is as bright in the ring as out, [he is] emerging as a real prospect at world level."

Norwich's McIntosh, 29, has only had 10 professional fights, but, like Cleverly, he boasts a 100% record.

Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion Cleverly, 22, has one year left to complete his maths degree at Cardiff University.

The Blackwood man has won all 16 of his fights, the last three coming by knock-out within four rounds.


Former British, European and world featherweight champion McGuigan showered praise on Cleverly in his column for the Daily Mirror newspaper, but also urged caution.

"Let's not burden Welsh wonder Nathan Cleverly with the label of the new Joe Calzaghe," he said.

"It is enough that he enters phase two of his professional career as the British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion.

"He is beautifully built for the division, standing 6ft 3in with long levers [arms].

"In his early days he sparred with Calzaghe, which was brilliant exposure, allowing him to develop a feel for the game at the top level.

"Though his record shows only six KOs in his first 16 bouts, the last three all ended early, indicating that he is learning how to harness power through timing and use of the feet.

"He likes to trade in the trenches and he has fast hands, throwing punches in clusters."

*Listen to Cleverly and McGuigan's views on him on BBC Radio Wales' The Back Page on Saturday, 18 June, 0830-0900 BST then on demand on iPlayer

see also
Bruising Cleverly ready for glory
24 May 09 |  Boxing
Easy title defence for Cleverly
22 May 09 |  Boxing
Cleverly gets British title shot
17 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Double-quick victory for Cleverly
13 Feb 09 |  Boxing
Cleverly shines in first defence
12 Dec 08 |  Boxing
Maths student is boxing clever
13 Dec 08 |  South east
Piper backs Cleverly for big time
13 Oct 08 |  Boxing
Cleverly wins Commonwealth crown
10 Oct 08 |  Boxing
Cleverly denied Francis challenge
16 Aug 08 |  Boxing
Cleverly leaves Calzaghe stable
05 Sep 08 |  Boxing
I'm on Calzaghe trail - Cleverly
04 Nov 07 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing world champions
25 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Wales' pugilist princes
15 May 09 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing history in photos
24 May 09 |  Boxing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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