Promoter Frank has confirmed the dates in 2012 when World Champions Nathan Cleverly and Ricky Burns will return to action, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456, Virgin Ch. 546).
Welshman Cleverly, the WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion, makes a glorious homecoming on Saturday 25th February at the Motorpoint Arena (formerly the Cardiff International Arena) in Cardiff.
The exciting 24-year-old will headline the show in his first fight in his home city since featuring on the undercard of Joe Calzaghe’s super-middleweight unification fight against Mikkel Kessler at the Millennium Stadium in November 2007.
Cleverly’s had a great year in which he was crowned world champion when Juergen Braehmer failed to arrive for their showdown in May and he beat late-replacement Alex Kuziemski in the fourth round at the O2 Arena.
In October he was involved in a thriller against Tony Bellew, beating his bitter rival on points in an action-packed fight at the Liverpool Echo Arena.
The challenger for Cleverly’s third defence of his title will be announced shortly.
“It will be over four years since I had my last fight in Cardiff and I can’t wait to return as a world champion and defend my title for the first time in front of my home fans,” Said Cleverly.
“I’ve fought all over England with fantastic support in arenas in Birmingham, London, Liverpool and also out in Las Vegas, but I can’t wait to hear the roar of the Welsh crowd when I enter the ring,”
“I watched Joe in many great fight nights at the arena, now called the Motorpoint, against the likes of Charles Brewer, Byron Mitchell and Mario Veit and the atmosphere was electric in there and I aim to generate the same kind of excitement,”
“My reputation has been building with each fight and when I beat Tony Bellew it was the crowning moment for me and I believe that the time is perfect to return to Wales.”
Scottish star Burns returns to the ring on Saturday 10th March at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow – nearly a year since his last fight there.
Burns, the former WBO World Super-Featherweight Champion, became the first Scottish boxer in nearly twenty years to win a world title in a second weight class when he beat Australian warrior Michael Katsidis for the Interim WBO World Lightweight title last month.
The 28-year-old also had a busy 2011 with wins over Joseph Laryea and Nicky Cook in defences of his super-featherweight title before stepping up to face Katsidis.
A challenger for Burns’ title will be announced shortly.
He said, “I couldn’t have ended this year any better than by beating one of the best in the division in Michael Katsidis,”
“I proved people wrong when I beat the favourite Roman Martinez to win the world super-featherweight title and I proved people wrong again by going up a weight to take on and beat Katsidis,”
“I belong with the best in the division and next year I hope that I can take on one of the other title holders and unify the belts,”
“I’ll have a rest over Christmas and then I’m back hard in training in January getting ready for the March 10 date at the Braehead Arena to defend my title.”
Further details about both shows will be announced in due course.