Nathan Cleverly

  • Full name Nathan Cleverly
  • Birth date February 17, 1987
  • Birth place Caerphilly
  • Current age 32 years 241 days
  • Height 6 ft 1 in
Nathan Cleverly celebrates his win

When Nathan Cleverly finally got his hands on the WBO light-heavyweight title, it happened in pretty farcical circumstances. He was initially scheduled to fight champion Jurgen Braehmer on May 21 2011 - but, days before the bout, the German pulled out, citing an eye injury, and Cleverly was handed the belt.

He still needed an opponent, so in stepped Tony Bellew, the Commonwealth champion, who announced himself with a fiery performance at a pre-fight press conference, calling Cleverly a "f*****g rat". However, Bellew failed to make the weight, and so was forced to withdraw. In the end, Cleverly wound up fighting - and defeating via fourth-round stoppage - Aleksy Kuziemski, the Polish veteran ranked No. 11 by the WBO.

Despite the far-from-ideal circumstances of his coronation, his claim to the title was strong - he won the European strap in February 2010, then nine months later became the WBO interim champion.

He made his second defence of the regular WBO championship against Bellew in October, struggling in the early rounds before coming back strongly to take a points win in a classic. That was backed up with an easy scorecard win over the limited American Tommy Karpency and a stylish eighth-round knock-out victory over Shawn Hawk in Los Angeles.

Career high: Becoming a world champion during 2011 - even if it wasn't the way he would have dreamt it

Career low: Failing to become the first man to stop Karpency, who really wasn't expected to offer much of a test

Quote: "I felt it was my destiny tonight," he said after beating Kuziemski. "Ever since I first put the gloves on when I was 11 this was the night I've been dreaming of."

Trivia: He graduated from Cardiff University with a BSc in Mathematics


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