Cleverly (25-0, 12 KOs), long criticized for battling a host of tomato cans, will battle Albanian Robin Krasniqi on April 20 at the Wembley Arena in London.
The 48-year-old Hopkins (53-6-3-2, 32 KOs) unanimously outscored Tavoris “Thunder” Cloud to earn the IBF light heavyweight title and, again, become the oldest pugilist to ever win a major world belt last month.
Also a former two-weight world titlist, and reformed ex-convict, Hopkins broke his own feat by overwhelming Cloud (24-1, 19 KOs).
“It’s great to read what Hopkins has been saying about me, he’s the ultimate warrior and doesn’t shy away from any challenge,” said Cleverly, 26, who most recently vacated the ring in November with an eight round TKO victory over American Shawn Hawk.
“You saw how he schooled Tavoris Cloud last month to break his own record to become the oldest world champion in history. He wants to fight me so I say let’s get it on, it would be an honor to share the ring with him and I’d love the challenge of beating a legend.”
A quasi geriatric, “The Executioner” remains a defensive virtuoso with an insatiable appetite for winning.
Despite being 22 years older, Hopkins, who safeguarded his middleweight crown a record 20 straight times from 1995 through 2005, would still easily “Execute” Cleverly.
Should they meet in the squared circle, expect “the ultimate warrior” to outclass Nathan Cleverly and emerge victorious on the scorecards.by