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Cleverly in the fight of his life against formidable Russian Kovalev

| 17.08.2013

Wales’ Nathan Cleverly faces up to the most important fight of his career so far, as he takes on fearsome Russian Sergey Kovalev at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. The Krusher boasts an impressive record of 21 wins from 22 fights and a single draw, with 19 of his 21 wins coming by knockout.

For Cleverly, this is the latest defence of the title he won in 2011 against Aleksy Kuziemski at the Liverpool Echo Arena inside four rounds. He subsequently defended that a further three times, but this represents a significant step up in class in the 140lb division and it’ll be interesting to see how he copes with the improvement in standard.

Whilst home favourite Cleverly can also count on an unbeaten record of 26 wins from 26 fights, the likelihood is that the fight may be an anticlimax for the fervent crowd, with 18 of Kovelev’s 19 knockouts coming inside three rounds.

There is value in backing the giant Russian to dispose of the Welshman inside the first three rounds, and considering his record in the opening stages of contests odds of 20/1 for a second or third round knockout seem to be too good to turn down.

As a result, Ladbrokes make the man from Kopeysk 10/11 to wrestle the WBO light welterweight belt away from Wales, although there is no doubt there will be money taken on Clev to successfully defend his title, and backers of the home favourite can also find odds of 10/11 for victory.

While seemingly unlikely, those who wish to back the fight to go into the latter stages then odds of 7/1 can be found for the bout to be won in rounds 7-8 and 9-10, with 10/1 on offer for the fight to reach a conclusion in rounds 11-12.

With a potential big money earner against Bernard Hopkins on the horizon – should Cleverly be victorious – the pressure is certainly on the man with a mathematics degree to take a calculated risk.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Natalia Bradford