Cleverly in 2007
|Rated at||Light heavyweight
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Reach||74 in (188 cm)|
17 February 1987 |
|Wins by KO||15|
Nathan Cleverly (born 17 February 1987) is a British professional boxer from Caerphilly, Wales. He is a former WBO light heavyweight champion, having also held the European, British and Commonwealth light heavyweight titles. He graduated with a BSc in mathematics from Cardiff University in 2010.
Cleverly made his professional debut in July 2005 with a four round victory over journeyman Ernie Smith at the Meadowbank Sports Center in Edinburgh and within a year had compiled a winning ledger of 6–0. His first fight of substance however was in October 2006 when he met Liverpool's Tony Quigley at the MEN Arena in Manchester. The fight which was on the undercard to the match up between Joe Calzaghe and Sakio Bika ended in a 5th round stoppage for Cleverly and handed Quigley his first pro defeat.
The next big test for the young prospect took place at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff just over a year later in September 2007 when Cleverly met tough Ugandan Joey Vegas. Cleverly at that time boasted a record of 10–0 and Vegas 10–1. The fight ended with a gruelling points win over 8 rounds for the Welshman in what was his toughest fight to date. Speaking about the result to the BBC and referring to the sparring he received in the Enzo Calzaghe gym, Cleverly said "I'm still young and won't be hitting my peak for about eight years, but think how good the wars I'm having in the gym now are doing me for the future ... I want to keep on progressing, to go for the British title, then maybe a world crown in a couple of years."
Cleverly had made a point of fighting on the undercards of his stablemate Joe Calzaghe with the Vegas fight being one of the prelims to Calzaghe's World title unification fight against Mikkel Kessler. The next stop however was the real Vegas, Las Vegas to support Calzaghe's attempt to win The Ring's Light heavyweight belt against American fighter Bernard Hopkins. Cleverly, fighting outside the UK for the first time as a pro also faced American opposition and beat Antonio Baker over 8 rounds.
In September 2008, the young boxer chose to leave Enzo Calzaghe's Newbridge boxing club where he had trained throughout his career and begin training at his father's gym in South Wales. Speaking about his decision to leave the gym Cleverly said "I have been trained by Enzo Calzaghe for six years since my youth days so leaving him has been one of the hardest decision I've ever had to make ... Enzo is largely responsible for where I am in my career and I cannot thank him enough for what he has done for me." Cleverly had been concerned following the legal wranglings between promoter Frank Warren and his former stablemate Joe Calzaghe and added "I cannot take any chances with my career ... I take boxing very seriously and want to be world champion. Hopefully Frank can sort that out for me."
In October 2008, Cleverly landed a shot at the vacant Commonwealth light heavyweight title topping the bill for the first time in his career at the Everton Park Sports Centre in Liverpool. His opponent was the experienced former British champion Tony Oakey who he beat on points over 12 rounds. Speaking after picking up his first belt Cleverly said "What a memorable night for me, winning a title is something I have dreamed of since I was a kid ... I have worked hard for this but this is just the start for me – I want to rule the world."
Cleverly defended his title just two months later in December against Kenyan Douglas Otieno. The African fighter, who came into the contest with a record of 18–1, was no match for the Welshman and was stopped in the 4th round. In February 2009 he defended for the second time against another Kenyan, Samson Onyang winning via knockout in the 1st round. On 22 May 2009 he scored a second round stoppage over Billy Boyle for his third defence of the title.
The victory over Boyle set Cleverly up for a shot at the vacant British title on 18 July 2009 against English champion Danny McIntosh. Fighting at the York Hall Cleverly knocked McIntosh down on four occasions before the referee stepped in to stop the fight in the 7th round ensuring that Cleverly could add the Lonsdale Belt to his Commonwealth. Following the victory Cleverly laid claim to being the best light heavyweight in Britain, despite the fact that fellow Brit Clinton Woods was soon to be travelling to Florida in a challenge for the vacant IBF World title against Tavoris Cloud. Cleverly saying that whenever the fight between himself and Woods could be made, he would be ready for it. Former champion Woods would go on to lose the fight and promptly announced his retirement from boxing. On 25 September 2009 Cleverly was pipped to the prestigious Boxing Writers Club young boxer of the year award by only one vote losing out to British welterweight champion Kell Brook in what was the closest vote in the history of the award.
On 9 October 2009 Cleverly defended both belts for the very first time against former Commonwealth games gold medallist Courtney Fry. The fight, at the York Hall, resulted in an 8th round stoppage for Cleverly against a man who had been a successful amateur. Even more crucial for the Welshman was the news that prior to the fight he had been nominated to fight for the European title and that any loss to Fry would have scuppered those plans.
On 13 February 2010 Cleverly took on Antonio Brancalion at Wembley Arena in a bid to gain the vacant European light-heavyweight title. The fight was won in the fifth round, the victory coming by way of knock out after two earlier knock downs in the previous round. In winning he became only the seventh Welshman to hold the British, Commonwealth and European titles. In addition to winning titles, Cleverly had during the same time period been studying for a Maths degree at Cardiff University eventually gaining a 2:2 degree. Speaking after securing his degree in May 2010 he claimed the studying and the boxing combined had taken its toll saying "All the other students in my year have been able to concentrate full-time on getting their degrees ... But as well as crunching numbers, I've had to fight for the British, Commonwealth and European titles as well, and spend most evenings hitting the heavy bag and doing numerous press ups and sit ups."
WBO light heavyweight champion
On 18 September 2010 Cleverly faced the unbeaten Karo Murat at the LG Arena in Birmingham in an eliminator for the WBO light heavyweight title. Cleverly moved one step closer to a match up with reigning champion Jürgen Brähmer with a ninth round TKO to win the fight which was one of the main events on Frank Warren's 'Magnificent Seven' event. Murat, a former European champion at super middleweight, struggled to match the Welshman after an explosive start and after being rocked in the 9th, the referee decided to stop the fight prior to the commencement of the 10th. Cleverly earned the interim version of the belt on 11 December 2010 in an unimpressive contest with the Frenchman Nadjib Mohammedi at the Echo Arena in Liverpool. Winning 115–112, 116–111 and 115–113 on the scorecards despite also having a point deducted Cleverly described his opponent as "very awkward" and said "he was making me miss and dragging me in but this is the way it goes sometimes." Cleverly had fought for the interim title as the full champion Jürgen Brähmer was in the midst of an appeal against a 16-month jail sentence for assault and insulting behaviour. An appeal heard in Germany on 13 December 2010 would, if Brähmer had been unsuccessful and sent to prison, have resulted in the belt being vacated and Cleverly being upgraded to the full champion status. Proceedings however didn't result in the champion being sent to prison and a fight with Brähmer was scheduled for 21 May 2011. Speaking of the match up Cleverly said that he was glad that it was going to happen saying "He's the champion and the only way I would consider myself a true champion is if I took the belt from him, rather than picking up the vacant title." Prior to the fight at The O2 Arena in London, Brähmer pulled out citing an eye injury received in training which had failed to heal properly. The pullout resulted in the loss of the main event for the show and speculation that Cleverly would be awarded the full WBO title by default. Brähmer's replacement was found in undefeated British fighter Tony Bellew, the current Commonwealth champion. Bellew, however, failed to make the weight and a second replacement was found in Polish veteran Aleksy Kuziemski, a man ranked at number 11 in the world by the WBO. Despite the disruption, Cleverly, who had been awarded the full title following Brähmers pullout, made a successful first defence to retain the title. The fight ended in the fourth round after a cut to the Kuziemski was deemed bad enough for the referee to stop the fight. Speaking of his achievement Cleverly said "I felt it was my destiny tonight ... Ever since I first put the gloves on when I was 11 this was the night I've been dreaming of ... Now I'll say Nathan Cleverly is the light-heavyweight champion of the world".
Cleverly made his first defence of his WBO title on 15 October 2011 with a hard fought majority points decision against Tony Bellew in Liverpool. The fight, at the Echo Arena, was considered to be one of Cleverly's "hardest days in the office" with one judge scoring the contest a draw. The fight had an ill-tempered build up with the two clashing during the weigh in resulting in a hostile reception for the champion against the home challenger.
Cleverly made his third defence of his WBO title - his first in the USA - with an 8th-round stoppage against American Shawn Hawk in Los Angeles on 10 November 2012.
On 20 April 2013 Cleverly made his fourth defence against Robin Krasniqi winning by unanimous decision at the Wembley Arena.
He lost his fifth attempt at defence of the title against Russian Sergey Kovalev on 17 August 2013 at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. The fight was stopped 29 seconds into the 4th round in Kovalev's favour. Cleverly considered retiring after the bout, but decided not to.
Move up to Cruiserweight
Cleverly made his Cruiserweight debut on 17 May 2014, defeating Shawn Corbin by second-round technical knockout to win the vacant WBA Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title. Cleverly successfully defended the title against Alejandro Emilio Valori on 12 July 2014 via fourth-round technical knockout.
Professional boxing record
|29 Wins (15 knockouts), 3 Losses, 0 Draws|
|Loss||29–3||Andrzej Fonfara||UD||12||16 October 2015||UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois||For WBC International Light Heavyweight title.|
|Win||29–2||Tomas Man||KO||1 (8), 0:24||30 May 2015||02 Arena, Greenwich, London|
|Loss||28–2||Tony Bellew||SD||12||22 November 2014||Echo Arena, Liverpool, Merseyside|
|Win||28–1||Alejandro Emilio Valori||TKO||4 (12), 1:16||12 July 2014||Echo Arena, Liverpool, Merseyside||Retained WBA Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title.|
|Win||27–1||Shawn Corbin||TKO||2 (12), 2:19||17 May 2014||Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff||Won vacant WBA Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title.|
|Loss||26–1||Sergey Kovalev||TKO||4 (12)||17 August 2013||Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff||Lost WBO Light Heavyweight title.|
|Win||26–0||Robin Krasniqi||UD||12||20 April 2013||Wembley Arena, London, Greater London||Retained WBO Light Heavyweight title.|
|Win||25–0||Shawn Hawk||TKO||8 (12), 1:53||10 November 2012||Staples Center, Los Angeles, California||Retained WBO Light Heavyweight title.|
|Win||24–0||Tommy Karpency||UD||12||25 February 2012||Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff||Retained WBO Light Heavyweight title.|
|Win||23–0||Tony Bellew||MD||12||15 October 2011||Echo Arena, Liverpool, Merseyside||Retained WBO Light Heavyweight title.|
|Win||22–0||Aleksy Kuziemski||TKO||4 (12), 1:27||21 May 2011||O2 Arena, Greenwich, London||Retained WBO Light Heavyweight title.|
|Win||21–0||Nadjib Mohammedi||UD||12||11 December 2010||Echo Arena, Liverpool, Merseyside||Won vacant interim WBO Light Heavyweight title.|
|Win||20–0||Karo Murat||RTD||9 (12), 3:00||18 September 2010||LG Arena, Birmingham, West Midlands||WBO Light Heavyweight title eliminator.|
|Win||19–0||Antonio Brancalion||TKO||5 (12), 1:15||13 February 2010||Wembley Arena, Wembley, London||Won vacant EBU Light Heavyweight title.|
|Win||18–0||Courtney Fry||TKO||8 (12), 2:51||9 October 2009||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London||Retained British and Commonwealth Light Heavyweight titles.|
|Win||17–0||Danny McIntosh||TKO||7 (12), 1:30||18 July 2009||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London||Retained Commonwealth Light Heavyweight title.
Won vacant British Light Heavyweight title.
|Win||16–0||Billy Boyle||TKO||2 (12), 2:22||22 May 2009||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London||Retained Commonwealth Light Heavyweight title.|
|Win||15–0||Samson Onyango||TKO||1 (12), 2:15||13 February 2009||Oasis Leisure Centre, Swindon, Wiltshire||Retained Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Title|
|Win||14–0||Douglas Otieno||TKO||4 (12), 2:39||12 December 2008||Kingsway Leisure Centre, Widnes, Cheshire||Retained Commonwealth Light Heavyweight title.|
|Win||13–0||Tony Oakey||UD||12||10 October 2008||Everton Park Sports Centre, Liverpool, Merseyside||Won vacant Commonwealth Light Heavyweight title.|
|Win||12–0||Antonio Baker||UD||8||19 April 2008||Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||11–0||Joey Vegas||PTS||8||3 November 2007||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
|Win||10–0||Ayitey Powers||KO||6 (8), 2:43||21 July 2007||International Arena, Cardiff|
|Win||9–0||Nick Okoth||PTS||8||7 April 2007||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
|Win||8–0||Varuzhan Davtyan||PTS||4||18 November 2006||Newport Leisure Centre, Newport|
|Win||7–0||Tony Quigley||TKO||5 (6), 0:57||14 October 2006||MEN Arena, Manchester|
|Win||6–0||Mark Phillips||PTS||4||8 July 2006||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
|Win||5–0||Brendan Halford||PTS||4||1 June 2006||Metrodome, Barnsley, Yorkshire|
|Win||4–0||Jon Foster||PTS||4||4 March 2006||M.E.N Arena, Manchester|
|Win||3–0||Lance Hall||TKO||3 (4), 2:27||4 December 2005||Oakengates Theatre, Telford, Shropshire|
|Win||2–0||Darren Gethin||PTS||4||10 September 2005||International Arena, Cardiff|
|Win||1–0||Ernie Smith||PTS||4||23 July 2005||Meadowbank Sports Centre, Edinburgh||Professional debut.|
- Boxrec | Nathan Cleverly professional record
- "Cleverly wins Commonwealth crown". BBC Sport. 10 October 2008.
- "Boxing champ Nathan Cleverly swaps gloves for gown". BBC News. 14 July 2010.
- Davies, Sean (4 November 2007). "I'm on Calzaghe trail – Cleverly". BBC Sport.
- Wales Online | A winner like Joe
- "Cleverly leaves Calzaghe stable". BBC Sport. 5 September 2008.
- BBC Sport | Cleverly shines in first defence
- "Double-quick victory for Cleverly". BBC Sport. 13 February 2009.
- "Easy title defence for Cleverly". BBC Sport. 22 May 2009.
- "Cleverly stops McIntosh for title". BBC Sport. 18 July 2009.
- "Cleverly has Woods in his sights". BBC Sport. 17 August 2009.
- "Cleverly beaten to award by Brook". BBC Sport. 25 September 2009.
- "Cleverly sees off Fry challenge". BBC Sport. 9 October 2009.
- "Cleverly targeting European belt". BBC Sport. 4 October 2009.
- "European title win for Welshman Nathan Cleverly". BBC Sport. 13 February 2010.
- "Boxer Cleverly earns maths degree". BBC News. 25 June 2010.
- Hassan, Nabil (18 September 2010). "Impressive Welshman Nathan Cleverly defeats Karo Murat". BBC Sport.
- "Nathan Cleverly edges to points victory over Mohammedi". BBC Sport. 11 December 2010.
- "Nathan Cleverly world title shot with Braehmer set". BBC Sport. 17 March 2011.
- "Cleverly title fight called off". BBC Sport. 18 May 2011.
- "Cleverly records first title win". BBC Sport. 21 May 2011.
- BBC Sport | Cleverly beats bellew to retain WBO title
- BBC Sport | Nathan Cleverly holds on to world crown against Tommy Karpency
- "Nathan Cleverly to box on and wants to regain world title". Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- "Nathan Cleverly wins cruiserweight debut against Shawn Corbin". Retrieved 17 May 2014.
|Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Champion
10 October 2008 – 12 March 2010
|British Light Heavyweight Champion
18 July 2009 – 15 January 2011
Title last held byJürgen Brähmer
|European Light Heavyweight Champion
13 February 2010 – 2010
Title next held byDanny McIntosh
|WBO Light Heavyweight Champion
11 December 2010 – 19 May 2011
|WBO Light Heavyweight Champion
19 May 2011 – 17 August 2013