Nathan Cleverly

Nathan Cleverly

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Nathan Cleverly is a British professional boxer from Wales and current WBO
World Boxing Organization
The World Boxing Organization is a sanctioning organization currently recognizing professional boxing world champions. The organization is recognized as one of the four major world championship groups by the IBHOF alongside the International Boxing Federation, the World Boxing Council and the...

 light heavyweight
Light heavyweight
In boxing, the light heavyweight is a weight division above 168 pounds [12 Stone or 76.204 kilograms] and up to 175 pounds [12.5 stone or 79.38 kilograms]), falling between super middleweight and cruiserweight...

 world champion. He is also the former European
European Boxing Union
The European Boxing Union is an organization that oversees competition in that sport over the continent of Europe.-History:The EBU started life as the International Boxing Union in Paris in 1910...

, British and Commonwealth
Commonwealth
Commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. Historically, it has sometimes been synonymous with "republic."More recently it has been used for fraternal associations of some sovereign nations...

 light heavyweight
Light heavyweight
In boxing, the light heavyweight is a weight division above 168 pounds [12 Stone or 76.204 kilograms] and up to 175 pounds [12.5 stone or 79.38 kilograms]), falling between super middleweight and cruiserweight...

 champion. He graduated with a BSc in Mathematics from Cardiff University
Cardiff University
Cardiff University is a leading research university located in the Cathays Park area of Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. It received its Royal charter in 1883 and is a member of the Russell Group of Universities. The university is consistently recognised as providing high quality research-based...

 in 2010.

Professional career


Cleverly made his professional debut in July 2005 with a four round victory over journeyman Ernie Smith
Journeyman (boxing)
A journeyman boxer is defined as a fighter who has adequate boxing skill, but does not have the caliber of a contender or gatekeeper. Outside of boxing, a "journeyman" is a trader or crafter who has completed an apprenticeship, but is not at the level of a master craftsman...

 at the Meadowbank
Meadowbank Stadium
Meadowbank Stadium is a multi-purpose sports facility located at Meadowbank, in Edinburgh, Scotland. It hosted the Commonwealth Games of 1970 and 1986.-Layout:...

 Sports Center in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

 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
Tony Quigley
Tony Quigley is an English professional boxer fighting in the super middleweight division. He is a former British champion at the weight.-Early professional career:...

 at the MEN Arena in Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

. The fight which was on the undercard to the match up between Joe Calzaghe
Joe Calzaghe
Joseph William Calzaghe, CBE, MBE is a Welsh former professional boxer. He is the former WBO, WBA, WBC, IBF, The Ring & British super middleweight champion and The Ring light heavyweight champion....

 and Sakio Bika
Sakio Bika
Sakio "The Scorpion" Bika , is a professional boxer in the super middleweight division. He is the former IBO super middleweight world champion.-Amateur career:...

 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
Millennium Stadium
The Millennium Stadium is the national stadium of Wales, located in the capital, Cardiff. It is the home of the Wales national rugby union team and also frequently stages games of the Wales national football team, but is also host to many other large scale events, such as the Super Special Stage...

 in Cardiff
Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

 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
Enzo Calzaghe
Enzo Calzaghe MBE is an Anglo-Italian boxing trainer. He is the father of Joe Calzaghe and the head trainer for Team Calzaghe at the Newbridge boxing club...

 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
Joe Calzaghe
Joseph William Calzaghe, CBE, MBE is a Welsh former professional boxer. He is the former WBO, WBA, WBC, IBF, The Ring & British super middleweight champion and The Ring light heavyweight champion....

 with the Vegas fight being one of the prelims to Calzaghe's World title unification fight against Mikkel Kessler
Mikkel Kessler
Mikkel Kessler is a Danish professional boxer and former two time WBA & WBC Super Middleweight champion. In his professional career he has a record of 44–2 with 33 knockouts...

. The next stop however was the real Vegas, Las Vegas to support Calzaghe's attempt to win The Ring Magazine's Light heavyweight belt against American fighter Bernard Hopkins
Bernard Hopkins
Bernard Hopkins Jr, known as The Executioner is an American boxer and the current Ring Magazine and WBC light heavyweight champion...

. 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
Enzo Calzaghe
Enzo Calzaghe MBE is an Anglo-Italian boxing trainer. He is the father of Joe Calzaghe and the head trainer for Team Calzaghe at the Newbridge boxing club...

's Newbridge boxing club
Newbridge boxing club
The Newbridge Boxing Club is a boxing gym operated by Enzo Calzaghe and based in Newbridge, South Wales. The club has been one of the most successful of recent years, at one point in 2007 boasting three genuine world champions in Joe Calzaghe , Enzo Maccarinelli and Gavin Rees...

 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
Enzo Calzaghe
Enzo Calzaghe MBE is an Anglo-Italian boxing trainer. He is the father of Joe Calzaghe and the head trainer for Team Calzaghe at the Newbridge boxing club...

 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
Frank Warren (promoter)
Frank Darren Warren is an English boxing manager and promoter.-Early life and early career:The son of a bookmaker, Warren trained as a solicitor's clerk with J Tickle & Co on Southampton Row in London....

 and his former stablemate Joe Calzaghe
Joe Calzaghe
Joseph William Calzaghe, CBE, MBE is a Welsh former professional boxer. He is the former WBO, WBA, WBC, IBF, The Ring & British super middleweight champion and The Ring light heavyweight champion....

 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."

Commonwealth champion



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
Everton Park, Liverpool
Everton Park in Everton, Liverpool, England is a modern park created in the early 1980s on the Everton hill between Great Homer Street and Everton Road/Heyworth Street.The park features the Everton Park Nature Garden.-External links:*...

 Sports Centre in Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

. His opponent was the experienced former British champion Tony Oakey
Tony Oakey
Tony Oakey is an English professional boxer who fights in the light heavyweight division.He is a former British, Commonwealth and WBU light-heavyweight boxing champion....

 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.

British Champion


The victory over Boyle set Cleverly up for a shot at the vacant British title on 18 July 2009 against English champion Danny McIntosh
Danny McIntosh
Danny McIntosh is a British light heavyweight boxer based in Norfolk. He is a former holder of both the English and European light heavyweight titles and a former challenger for the British and Commonwealth titles.-Professional Career:...

. Fighting at the York Hall
York Hall
The York Hall is a health and leisure centre and one of Britain's best known boxing venues.The venue is situated on Old Ford Road in Bethnal Green, London, England. The hall, opened in 1929 with a capacity of 1,200, stages boxing as well as providing a gymnasium and swimming pool.The hall is owned...

 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
Lonsdale belt
The Lonsdale Belt was a boxing prize introduced by Hugh Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale, to be awarded to British boxing champions. It is still awarded to British champions today.-National Sporting Club:...

 to his Commonweatlh. Following the victory Cleverly laid claim to being the best light heavyweight in Britain, despite the fact that fellow Brit Clinton Woods
Clinton Woods
Clinton Woods , is a retired professional boxer from Sheffield, England. He is the former IBF, European, British, & Commonwealth light heavyweight champion....

 was soon to be travelling to Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 in a challenge for the vacant IBF World title against Tavoris Cloud
Tavoris Cloud
Tavoris Karod Cloud is an American professional boxer born in Tallahassee, Florida, USA, and the current IBF light heavyweight champion.-Early life:...

. 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
Kell Brook
Ezekiel Brook, better known as Kell Brook, born 3 May 1986 is a British professional boxer from Sheffield in England who fights in the welterweight division. He is a former holder of the British welterweight title and the WBO Inter-continental title at the same weight and presently holds the WBA...

 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.

European Champion


On 13 February 2010 Cleverly took on Antonio Brancalion at Wembley Arena
Wembley Arena
Wembley Arena is an indoor arena, at Wembley, in the London Borough of Brent. The building is opposite Wembley Stadium.-History:...

 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
Cardiff University
Cardiff University is a leading research university located in the Cathays Park area of Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. It received its Royal charter in 1883 and is a member of the Russell Group of Universities. The university is consistently recognised as providing high quality research-based...

 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
Karo Murat
Karo Murat is an Iraqi born German professional boxer who competes in the light heavyweight division. He is a former European champion at super middleweight and is the current holder of the WBO Inter continental light heavyweight title...

 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 an 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 02 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
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 fighter Tony Bellew
Tony Bellew
Tony Bellew is a British professional boxer and a former three time ABA Heavyweight Champion. He is promoted by Frank Warren, trains out of Arnie's gym in Manchester and is the reigning Commonwealth light heavyweight champion.-Amateur career:...

, the current Commonwealth champion. Bellew, however, failed to make the weight and a second replacement was found in Polish
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

 veteran Aleksy Kuziemski
Aleksy Kuziemski
Aleksy Kuziemski is a boxer from Poland.-Amateur:Kuziemski won the bronze medal at light heavy at the 2003 World Amateur Boxing Championships, and another bronze at the 2004 European Amateur Boxing Championships.He participated in the 2004 Summer Olympics...

, 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".

Title defences


Cleverly made the first his first defence of his WBO title on 15 October 2011 with a hard fought majority points decision against Tony Bellew
Tony Bellew
Tony Bellew is a British professional boxer and a former three time ABA Heavyweight Champion. He is promoted by Frank Warren, trains out of Arnie's gym in Manchester and is the reigning Commonwealth light heavyweight champion.-Amateur career:...

 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.

Professional boxing record



| style="text-align:center;" colspan="8"|23 Wins (11 knockouts), 0 Losses 0 Draws
|-
|align=center style="border-style: none none solid solid; background: #e3e3e3"|Res.
|align=center style="border-style: none none solid solid; background: #e3e3e3"|Record
|align=center style="border-style: none none solid solid; background: #e3e3e3"|Opponnent
|align=center style="border-style: none none solid solid; background: #e3e3e3"|Type
|align=center style="border-style: none none solid solid; background: #e3e3e3"|Rd., Time
|align=center style="border-style: none none solid solid; background: #e3e3e3"|Date
|align=center style="border-style: none none solid solid; background: #e3e3e3"|Location
|align=center style="border-style: none none solid solid; background: #e3e3e3"|Notes
|-align=center
|Win||23-0||align=left|  Tony Bellew
Tony Bellew
Tony Bellew is a British professional boxer and a former three time ABA Heavyweight Champion. He is promoted by Frank Warren, trains out of Arnie's gym in Manchester and is the reigning Commonwealth light heavyweight champion.-Amateur career:...


|
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|align=left|
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|-align=center
|Win||22-0||align=left|  Aleksy Kuziemski
Aleksy Kuziemski
Aleksy Kuziemski is a boxer from Poland.-Amateur:Kuziemski won the bronze medal at light heavy at the 2003 World Amateur Boxing Championships, and another bronze at the 2004 European Amateur Boxing Championships.He participated in the 2004 Summer Olympics...


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|Win||21-0||align=left|  Nadjib Mohammedi
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|Win||20-0||align=left|  Karo Murat
Karo Murat
Karo Murat is an Iraqi born German professional boxer who competes in the light heavyweight division. He is a former European champion at super middleweight and is the current holder of the WBO Inter continental light heavyweight title...


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|Win||19-0||align=left|  Antonio Brancalion
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|Win||18-0||align=left|  Courtney Fry
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|Win||17-0||align=left|  Danny McIntosh
Danny McIntosh
Danny McIntosh is a British light heavyweight boxer based in Norfolk. He is a former holder of both the English and European light heavyweight titles and a former challenger for the British and Commonwealth titles.-Professional Career:...


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|Win||16-0||align=left|  Billy Boyle
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|Win||15-0||align=left|  Samson Onyango
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|Win||14-0||align=left|  Douglas Otieno
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|Win||13-0||align=left|  Tony Oakey
Tony Oakey
Tony Oakey is an English professional boxer who fights in the light heavyweight division.He is a former British, Commonwealth and WBU light-heavyweight boxing champion....


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|Win||12-0||align=left|  Antonio Baker
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|Win||11-0||align=left|  Joey Vegas
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|Win||10-0||align=left|  Ayitey Powers
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|Win||9-0||align=left|  Nick Okoth
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|Win||8-0||align=left|  Varuzhan Davtyan
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|Win||7-0||align=left|  Tony Quigley
Tony Quigley
Tony Quigley is an English professional boxer fighting in the super middleweight division. He is a former British champion at the weight.-Early professional career:...


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|Win||6-0||align=left|  Mark Phillips
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|Win||5-0||align=left|  Brendan Halford
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|Win||4-0||align=left|  Jon Foster
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|Win||3-0||align=left|  Lance Hall
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|Win||2-0||align=left|  Darren Gethin
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|Win||1-0||align=left|  Ernie Smith
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External links


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