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Written by Jake Wallwork

Nathan Cleverly in an underwhelming title defense against Tommy Karpency

Nathan Cleverly’s third defense of his WBO belt has one of the worst choices of opponent I have ever seen. After impressing everyone in a close fight with Tony Bellew, Cleverly is now taking on Tommy Karpency, a man whose career highlight is losing a fight to Karo Murat. When you think that that light heavies like Edison Miranda, Tony Bellew, Enzo Maccarinelli and Ovill McKenzie were all up for a fight with the Welsh champ, taking on Tommy Karpency seems worse every minute.

Frank Warren, Cleverly’s promoter, was recently quoted saying:
“...Eddie Hearn has had a disastrous world title year with only one of his fighters, Froch, going the distance. Anyone can get a boxer a world title fight, the real skill is getting it in the right place at the right time – when your boxer has the chance of actually winning it and holding onto the title.”
Hearn was quick to fire back:
“Dear oh dear some promoters want to criticize me for making big fights then they announce ‘fights’ like that”
He also made the point :
“Why not give Tony Bellew the rematch? It was a great fight and easy to make again?”
You can’t disagree with Hearn on this one and before the internet, we'd never get banter like this outside of a press conference. Who says Twitter is useless?

Tony Bellew, also promoted by Warren, was disgusted and refused to even say Karpency's name. This is a leak in the Frank Warren Promotions ship - when one of your own guys is having a go at a fight you made, you know it isn’t the best piece of matchmaking. Britain's best boxing promoter?

This is turning into a write up of a day on a social networking site, but I'll say it anyway. Enzo Maccarinelli also used Twitter to show how annoyed he is by the Cleverly-Karpency fight by retweeting some of the complaints from his fans. Have a look:



The undercard could give a shred of credibility to this shambles. Promising Welsh featherweight Lee Selby is fighting on the card, and since it is in Wales Enzo Maccarinelli might show his face. He's annoyed by the weakness of the title fight but come on, he wasn't ready to take on Cleverly. He's only one fight into his comeback, and before that was last seen losing to Alexander Frenkel. Cleverly would punch him out of the ring.

I think Enzo will be sensible enough to know any exposure is good exposure when you're trying to ressurect your career. Or at least his team might be sensible enough to realise that and if they're invested in his career at all, they'll get him on the bill. One thing is for sure; the undercard of this event will be a damn sight more exciting than the main event.

Fights like this could make boxing fans regret signing up for Boxnation. No-one wants to pay £10 per month to see a welshman fight a nobody, they can see that for free at any pub in Cardiff. This really is the wrong start to 2012 for BoxNation. The odd exciting fight like Dereck Chisora vs Vitali Klitschko may save Warren from having a lot of subscription withdrawals over the next few days, but he's going to have to make good on his promise of top-class fights.

I’m hope I've been clear in saying how annoyed I am with this match up. Many other boxing fans have said the same, but in the end we'll still watch it. This isn't Nathan Cleverly's fault and certainly isn’t Tommy Karpency's; if I were him I’d jump at the chance of fighting for a world title. Well done to him for getting the shot, but he hasn't earned it, nor does he deserve it – his last opponent had a 10-16-2 record. If you asked Karpency on the quiet, he'd probably agree.

If Cleverly fights Bernard Hopkins or Beibut Shumenov in the summer, who could both offer unification bouts, all this moaning will be forgotten, but with Frank Warren involved I wouldn’t get too excited about that.