Future is so bright for Clever kid

The Mirror Barry Mcguigan 4th July, 2009

Let's not burden Welsh wonder Nathan Cleverly with the label of the new Joe Calzaghe.

It is enough that he enters phase two of his professional career as the British and Commonwealth lightheavyweight champion.

He makes his 17th appearance at the York Hall next week after completing his maths degree at Cardiff University this summer.

Cleverly is as bright in the ring as out, emerging as a real prospect at world level. He started out in Enzo Calzaghe's gym but moved on following Calzaghe's split with promoter Frank Warren.

He is beautifully built for the division, standing 6ft 3in with long levers. In his early days he sparred with Calzaghe, which was brilliant exposure, allowing him to develop a feel for the game at the top level.

Though his record shows only six KOs in his first 16 bouts, the last three all ended early, indicating that he is learning how to harness power through timing and use of the feet.

He likes to trade in the trenches and he has fast hands, throwing punches in clusters.

His opponent next week, Danny McIntosh, is out of the Brendan Ingle stable. He is also unbeaten and tipped by Jon Thaxton and his mates in Norwich to pull off the win.

I don't see that. I saw McIntosh finish off Steven Spartacus for the English light-heavyweight title last October. That was a struggle.