Boxing - Cleverly withdraws from cruiserweight debut again

Former light heavyweight world champion Nathan Cleverly (26-1) has withdrawn from his cruiserweight debut against dangerous Congolese southpaw Ilunga Makabu (15-1) with a reported injury.

Boxing - Cleverly to face Sean Corbin on May 17

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Nathan Cleverly (Getty)

The bout was supposed to feature on the undercard of Gennady Golovkin’s middleweight title defence fight against Ghanaian Osumanu Adama on February 1st in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

"He has sustained a minor injury and will not be fighting in Monte Carlo on February 1st and we are about to re-schedule a fight for him," said Cleverly’s promoter Frank Warren.

Rodney Berman, who runs African promotional outfit Golden Gloves, accused Warren of ‘shooting his bolt’.

Berman said: “I knew he’d pull out. He’s not a true champion, I always felt that. Whatever excuse Cleverly is making, I know he hasn’t been injured. He pulled out because he realised he had no chance against Makabu. Everyone said that when the fight was signed and it obviously dawned on him.“I always suspected he was molly-coddled. Frank Warren clearly shot his bolt by doing the deal and now has to accommodate his fighter wanting out.”

Berman’s latest ‘tweet’ states: “Have arranged a much sterner test for Makabu. Details TBC, but sure to give him a far better fight than Cleverly ever could.”

Cleverly was due to make his cruiserweight debut in November last year at the Copper Box Arena, challenging for the vacant Commonwealth title against Australia Daniel Amman, only to pull out with a reported back injury. Amman will now take on Romford’s Tony Conquest (12-1) for the title on February 15.

Also due to feature on the Monaco card is St. Helens’ former world title challenger Martin Murray (25-1-1) against Australian Jarrod Fletcher (17-1) for the interim WBC title, although rumours have been circulating that this fight is now also off.

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