Cleverly has the class but Krasiniqi can not be taken lightly
With a 25-0 record and three WBO Light Heavyweight title defences, Nathan Cleverly’s talent is not up for debate.
In his last fight, the 26-year-old became the first man to stop the respected Shawn Hawk in Los Angeles and Cleverly will be keen to set up future contests with more high-profile opposition
With Robert Krasiniqi hardly a household name, many might assume that this fight will be a formality for the unbeaten Welshamn.
However, this will be far from a walk in the park, and if he fails to respect his German-based Kosovan opponent, a unification bout with Bernard Hopkins could turn out to be nothing but a pipe dream.
Mandatory challenger Krasiniqi, who is a 6/1 shot, has won his last 38 fights, stopping his last four opponents, and for that reason alone, must not be taken lightly. Ranked number-one contender by the WBO, Krasiniqi is technically sound, athletic and quick.
With Cleverly taking big shots against Hawk and Tony Bellew, Krasiniqi will be confident of landing.
There is the argument, however, that his size could stop him from reaching the pinnacle of this division. He would perhaps be more naturally suited to fight at super middleweight and has looked the smaller man in his latest fights against Max Heyman and Serdar Sahin.
And as the fighter more physically suited to operating at 175lbs, Cleverly, who is 1/10, should end up swamping his opponent. While the rangy Welshman is not known especially for his power, much like his countryman Joe Calzaghe he has an exceptional engine and throws punches in bunches.
It would be no surprise to see Cleverly outscore his opponent in the first few rounds through the sheer volume of punches he throws, and Krasiniqi could find the fight slipping away from him.
If that does become the case, Krasiniqi will have to open up, much like Hawk did. And like that fight, Cleverly would likely introduce the power punches in attempt to put the Kosovan down and it is 5/1 that the Welshman stops his opponent in rounds 7-9.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.