• Light-heavyweight

Cleverly: Krasniqi was tough

ESPN staff
April 21, 2013
Nathan Cleverly dominated the fight from start to finish © AP

After he defended his WBO light-heavyweight title against Robin Krasniqi on Saturday, Nathan Cleverly has praised his opponent for the way he battled on during the fight.

Cleverly retained his belt for the fifth time and is a step closer to a unification bout with IBF champion Bernard Hopkins after defeating Krasniqi by a unanimous points decision at Wembley Arena.

The 26-year-old demonstrated his qualities in a dominant display, and has praised challenger Krasniqi for going the distance.

"He was hurt a lot of times, but wasn't quite ready to go so I had to go back to Plan A and box, " Cleverly is quoted as saying on BoxingScene.com. "I felt good in there and I'm pleased with the performance, it was a nice boxing display. He was tough.

"At this level it's important to break your opponents down because these are world level fighters, 12-round fighters who are very tough, so you can't be gung-ho and reckless. I was surprised he went the full 12 rounds because I hurt him early on with the right hand and I thought that sooner or later he'd go. But he dug in, was very hungry and kept fighting back. It was important that I stayed focused and boxed."

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