Andrzej Fonfara Vs Nathan Cleverly – Preview and Prediction

Nathan Cleverly will look to revive his career back at the light heavyweight limit as he takes on the rising Andrzej Fonfara stateside in Illinois, United States. The bout will be live on Sky Sports 1 in the UK from 2am on Friday night/Saturday morning.

Cleverly who once held a world title at the weight, making 5 defences of the WBO version between 2011-2013 has seen his stock plummet since being destroyed by Sergey Kovalev inside 4 rounds in 2013.

A move to the cruiserweight limit in 2014 saw Cleverly stopping soft opposition in a couple of mismatches, however following this he then put in one of the worst performances of a pay per view headliner against Tony Bellew that I can remember, it is clear Cleverly’s confidence has taken a big dent since that night against Kovalev.

Cleverly has now moved back down to light heavyweight and will face Poland’s Andrzej Fonfara who has seen his stock go in the opposite direction, up.

Fonfara put in a game performance against the WBC champion Adonis Stevenson in 2014, dropping the champion in the 9th round and going the distance in an entertaining bout, more recently however he dominated and retired Julio Cesar Chavez Jr earlier this year to really elevate his name stateside.

Cleverly has took a big risk here but one in which could pay dividends ten fold over if he can come out victorious this Friday night, however for me it is going to be a big ask.

Fonfara has already proven how tough he is and that he can mix it with the best in the division, he is underrated technically and certainly has enough pop, and I have to question how much of Cleverly’s heart is still in the game.

However if Cleverly can recapture some of the form and confidence he had in 2011-2012 pre Kovalev then this could actually be a close fight, you certainly wouldn’t rule that Cleverly out from winning this fight.

The bookmakers have this one closer than I expected with Fonfara at 8/15 and Cleverly 15/8, I would have expected Cleverly to be a slightly wider price than that.

That suits me because I will be backing Fonfara in this one and I think he may even stop Cleverly, a Fonfara KO/TKO can be had at 9/4  and that is where my money is going.

PREDICTION: FONFARA TKO9

BETTING TIP:  £20 on Fonfara KO/TKO at 9/4 Ladbrokes