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Holyfield Retains Title and Cleverly Sets His Sights on the Crown
Evander Holyfield Retains WBF Title, Nathan Cleverly Sets His Sights on the WBO Light-Heavyweight Crown and GB Boxing Rejig Amateur Team
Posted Jan 24, 2011 by Weekend Round-Up
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This weekend four-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, managed to retain his WBF title after his fight with Sherman Williams was ruled a no contest following an accidental headbutt.
The clash of heads took place in the second round and anyone that saw the fight will have noticed the visible look of relief on Holyfield’s face when the referee brought the proceedings to an end. Sherman Williams launched a hurricane of punches in the third round just before the match was brought to an end – giving a fairly certain indication of the likely outcome of the match had the fight been allowed to continue.
Nevertheless, the 48-year-old champion managed to cling on to his WBF title and although Holyfield mooted the possibility of a rematch, it is unclear as to whether a second fight between the pair is on the cards. The accident also brings into question Holyfield’s next fight, which was scheduled to take place on 5th March in Denmark, because time is needed for the eye wound to heal.
Sherman Williams, after the fight, said that he would consider the opportunity to take Holyfield’s spot in Denmark fighting Brian Neilsen. Having watched Holyfield in action, my gut feeling was that the contest bared the hallmark of an old-timer clinging tooth and nail onto a title that is, in boxing circles, regarded fairly lightly. That being said, jumping in the ring and slogging out a few rounds with the 48 year old still probably wouldn’t be top of my list of things to do.
Meanwhile, 23 year old Nathan Cleverly staked his claim to the WBO light-heavyweight crown as current champion Juergen Braehmer has been ordered to enter talks with the contender.
Braehmer was due to fight Beibut Shumenov last week but the German pulled out due to illness – this forced Braehmer’s hand and means the German must fight Cleverly in order to defend his status.
The unbeaten Welshman has fought 21 times since his pro-debut in 2005 and is keen to meet Braehmer in the ring saying: “It would be nice to get my hands on the world champion and beat him to win the title.”
It’s unclear why the leek-loving nation produces such a fine crop of boxers but Nathan Cleverly, if successful, would become the 11th Welsh world boxing champion joining a long list of boxing legends such as Joe Calzaghe.
Elsewhere, GB Boxing have been busy tweaking their amateur squads this week in contemplation for the succession of 2011 events. Key updates to the squad include the addition of heavyweight Danny Price to the podium squad, Lightweight Josh Taylor, middleweight Keiron Harding and light-flyweight Iain Butcher will all be joining the development squad and it is thought that super-heavyweight Amin Isa will be dropped completely. This year you can see the GB Boxing team in action at the September World Championships in Azerbaijan and the European Championships in June.