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Page last updated at 09:44 GMT, Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Alejandro Lakatos vows to 'punish' Nathan Cleverly

Nathan Cleverly connects with Antonio Brancalion
Nathan Cleverly makes his power felt against Antonio Brancalion

Alejandro Lakatos says he will end Nathan Cleverly's ambitions in their WBO interim light-heavyweight title clash in Liverpool on 11 December.

Unbeaten Welshman Cleverly is a heavy favourite as he builds to a planned showdown with WBO champion Juergen Braehmer and future unification fights.

But Romanian-born, adopted Spaniard Lakatos, 31, has other ideas.

"If Cleverly stands in front of me like he did against Karo Murat he'll be in big trouble, I'll punish him," he said.

"He's an overhyped, jumped-up kid who will be exposed for what he is on 11 December.

I'll knock you out in the UK

IBF champion Tavoris Cloud on Cleverly

"I've been close to glory before, but this time my dream of winning a world title is about to come true.

"I'm sure that I will get booed into the Echo Arena, but by the time I've finished with Cleverly the crowd will be on their feet and cheering me."

The 6ft Madrid-based Lakatos has a record of 31 wins, five defeats and two draws in his 14-year professional career, while 23-year-old European champion Cleverly has won all 20 of his fights as he bids to become Wales' 11th world champion.

His last seven victories have been stoppages, but it was the previous points victory - over Tony Oakey for the Commonwealth title in October 2008 - that really announced his credentials as a major player in the light-heavyweight division.

The Oakey win was the Cefn Fforest man's only previous appearance in Liverpool, and Cleverly hopes that is a good omen for the Lakatos bout.

I don't know how Cloud developed this infatuation with me, but I'm flattered by all this attention

Nathan Cleverly

"It's great to return," said Cleverly. "Liverpool is a special place in my heart as it was where my title-winning streak started."

The Welshman could still be crowned WBO champion outside the ring if Braehmer fails in his appeal against a 16-month prison sentence for assault and insulting behaviour, or if he refuses to meet number-one challenger Cleverly early in 2011.

But a potential meeting between the two in the ring has been hyped by a war of words, with the German questioning his rival's punching ability.

Cleverly is already looking beyond the WBO title to potential big-money, cross-Atlantic meetings with the likes of Chad Dawson and Jean Pascal, while IBF champion Tavoris Cloud has told the Welshman: "I'll knock you out in the UK."

Cleverly responded to the Tallahassee man's taunts, saying: "I don't know how Cloud developed this infatuation with me, but I'm flattered by all this attention, although his head seems to be in the clouds about fighting me!

"He's saying that he'll shorten my career, we'll I'm telling him that I'll put an end to his when the time is good and ready.

"His wins over Glen Johnson and Clinton Woods were impressive, but I'm a fresh young fighter and will only get better as I mature.

"That's all I'm saying about Cloud for now. I'm focusing on my fight against Lakatus and I wish Cloud all the best against Flugencio Zuniga a week after me."



see also
Cleverly world title shot delayed
14 Oct 10 |  Boxing
Braehmer queries Cleverly's punch
23 Sep 10 |  Boxing
Warren wants Cleverly 'world' bid
20 Sep 10 |  Boxing
Impressive Cleverly defeats Murat
18 Sep 10 |  Boxing
Cleverly targets 'top man' Pascal
17 Aug 10 |  Boxing
Is Cleverly the new Calzaghe?
22 Jul 09 |  Boxing
Nathan Cleverly in photos
08 Apr 10 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing world champions
25 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Wales' pugilist princes
15 May 09 |  Boxing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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