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23 February 2012
World boxing champion and Cardiff maths graduate Nathan Cleverly took time-out from his big fight build-up to help fighters from developing nations yesterday.
Nathan, who graduated from Cardiff in 2010, is back in the city to defend his WBO light-heavyweight title at the Motorpoint Arena on Saturday.
However, he found time to come along to the "Road to London" pre-Olympic training camp, being hosted by the University at Cardiff Sports Village. The camp aims to give male and female fighters from 44 nations the chance to get in shape for pre-Olympic qualifying competitions. Run by the Amateur International Boxing Association, and supported by the Welsh Amateur Boxing Association, the Welsh Government, Sport Wales and Cardiff Council, the camp offers the best equipment and expert coaching to fighters who may not have the same resources at home.
Nathan took young Ghanaian fighter Duke Micah through his paces with some padwork in the ring. He also helped New Zealand female boxer Alexis Pritchard work on a few moves.
Nathan, who fights American Tommy Karpency in Saturday’s title bout, said: "It was good to be back at the University where I had four great years. I think it's fantastic that Wales is putting together this boxing camp to help fighters from less privileged countries. I wish all the boxers the best of luck in their drive to get to London 2012 - and maybe I'll meet some of them in professional competition one day."
Female boxers are taking part in the Olympics for the first time and 17 are attending the "Road to London" to prepare. Alexis said: "This is a great opportunity for the women boxers to reach new levels. The sport is growing and we are part of it, it is fantastic to be here."
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