Best still to come says WBO champion Nathan Cleverly

Nathan Cleverly
Nathan Cleverly is a former European, British and Commonwealth champion

WBO light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly believes he is still some distance away from reaching his full potential.

Cleverly will defend his title for the third time against an as yet confirmed opponent in February in Cardiff.

And the 24-year-old Cefn Fforest fighter says his ambition is to unify the light-heavyweight division.

"I've only touched the surface I feel. I'm sure there's a lot more to come," said Cleverly.

"I look at what I've achieved over the last couple of years. I've kind of just been playing with the sport really in terms of what I can do.

"With that extra focus to my training, to my lifestyle, I think I can really go and push forward. My ultimate ambition is to become unified world champion.

"We're looking for one massive fight in the summer against one of the big names in the division."

One of the names which has been mentioned as a possible future opponent is veteran WBC light-heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins.

But Hopkins, 46, first faces a rematch against Chad Dawson, after their previous fight in October was ruled a no-contest.

"He's [Hopkins] a massive name," added Cleverly.

"He's a really great fighter and if we could get someone of the calibre of that - a massive name - that would be great to take place in Wales.

"When you fight the best guys and you beat them, that's when you get the recognition of the media, the public and they stand up and take note then.

"I'm only 24 now so we're working towards those fights and we will get there."

Cleverly will defend his WBO light-heavyweight title for the third time on 25 February at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena

An opponent has yet to be confirmed for his first fight in Wales for four years, with Andrzej Fonfara ruled out as an opponent.

"There was a mention of that opponent but I don't think it's going to be him," said Cleverly. "There's a few options out there.

"We tried to get Beibut Shumenov, the WBA champion. Unfortunately he doesn't seem interested in a fight now.

"We'll find someone and we'll find a good opponent ready for the homecoming."

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