The World Boxing Association are allowing WBA World light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly to bypass his #1 WBA challenger Dmitry Bivol in order for Cleverly to defend his title against former WBC super middleweight champion Badou Jack on August 26 on the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor card on Showtime PPV at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It’s a good deal for Cleverly (30-3, 16 KOs) not to have to face the unbeaten Bivol, because he has an arguably better chance of beating Badou (21-1-2, 12 KOs), and the fight will be shown on Showtime PPV.
“This is a fight I have wanted ever since Badou Jack moved to light heavyweight and I’m delighted to fight in Vegas on an event like this,” said Cleverly via skysports.com. “I’ve trained long and hard for this fight and I’m ready to be let off the leash. This is the biggest fight of my career so far and I’m going to do a number on Badou Jack on August 26.”
This will be the 30-year-old Cleverly’s first and perhaps his only defense of his WBA title that he won on October 1 last year in beating Juergen Braehmer by a 6th round injury stoppage. Cleverly was losing that fight and got lucky when Braehmer pulled out of the fight after the 6th round with an elbow injury.
“I’m thankful for this opportunity and I’m excited about getting another shot at a world title,” said Jack. “To be a part of this event and fighting on this card is historic. Nothing beats it. I’m excited to get back in the ring. I’m getting ready to take that belt, and win a title in my second weight class.”
Jack, 33, hasn’t done anything to earn the title shot against Cleverly other than being a world champion at 168. In Jack’s last fight against IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale last January, he fought him to a 12-round draw.