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Nathan Cleverly

Nathan Cleverly Profile Image
  • Nickname: Clev
  • Date of Birth: 17th February 1987 (37 years old)
  • Retired: 26th August 2017 (Career length: 12 years 1 months)
  • Status: Retired
  • Nationality: Wales Flag Wales
  • Birthplace: Caerphilly, Wales, United Kingdom Flag Caerphilly, Wales, United Kingdom
  • Residence: Blackwood, Wales, United Kingdom Flag Blackwood, Wales, United Kingdom
  • Division: Light Heavyweight
  • Height: 189cm
  • Reach: 188cm
  • Stance: Orthodox
  • BoxRec: Nathan Cleverly
  • Debut: 23rd July 2005

Biography

Nathan Cleverly, synonymous with Welsh boxing excellence, embarked on his professional boxing journey in July 2005, showcasing his skills against Ernie Smith in Edinburgh. With a commendable start, Cleverly quickly amassed a winning streak, signalling his arrival on the professional scene. His prowess was further solidified in a significant early career victory over Tony Quigley in 2006, where Cleverly demonstrated his potential by stopping Quigley in the fifth round. This victory on the undercard of the Joe Calzaghe vs Sakio Bika fights heralded Cleverly as a rising star in British boxing.

Cleverly's early career was punctuated by challenging fights, including a gruelling encounter with Joey Vegas in 2007, which he won by points. His dedication and skill set him on a path towards higher honours, and he fought under the mentorship of Enzo Calzaghe and shared cards with esteemed stablemate Joe Calzaghe. A pivotal moment in Cleverly's career came in 2008 when he decided to train at his father's gym, marking a significant transition in his professional journey.

By October 2008, Cleverly's hard work and dedication bore fruit as he clinched the vacant Commonwealth light heavyweight title by defeating Tony Oakey. This victory was a personal triumph and a declaration of his intent to dominate the boxing world. Cleverly's relentless pursuit of excellence saw him successfully defend his Commonwealth title against formidable opponents, further establishing his dominance in the division.

Cleverly's ambition knew no bounds as he set his sights on the European light heavyweight title, which he captured in 2010 by defeating Antonio Brancalion. This victory was a testament to Cleverly's skill, determination, and the balancing act he performed while pursuing a Mathematics degree at Cardiff University. His academic achievements parallel his boxing career, showcasing his multifaceted personality.

The Welsh boxer's journey towards world championship glory was marked by an interim WBO light heavyweight title win against Nadjib Mohammedi in 2010. Cleverly's dream of becoming a world champion materialized when he was awarded the full WBO title in 2011 following Jürgen Brähmer's withdrawal from their scheduled bout. Cleverly's reign as WBO champion was highlighted by successful defences against formidable opponents, including a notable victory over Tony Bellew in 2011.

Cleverly's ambition and drive led him to the cruiserweight division, where he captured the WBA Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title in 2014. However, a rematch with Tony Bellew at cruiserweight ended in defeat, prompting Cleverly to return to the light heavyweight division. Upon his return, his resilience and dedication to the sport were evident in his performances, including a memorable fight against Andrzej Fonfara in 2015.

The pinnacle of Cleverly's career came in 2016 when he captured the WBA (Regular) light heavyweight title by defeating Jürgen Brähmer, becoming a two-time world champion. This victory was a culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and an unwavering belief in his abilities.

However, every boxer's journey has its trials, and Cleverly's career was no exception. His loss to Badou Jack in 2017 marked a turning point, leading to his decision to retire from professional boxing at the age of 30. His retirement announcement was a reflective moment, acknowledging the wear and tear of a demanding sport on his body.

Nathan Cleverly's legacy in boxing is defined by his tenacity, skill, and the heart he showed inside the ring. His journey from a promising young talent to a world champion in two weight classes is a testament to his dedication and love for the sport. Cleverly hangs up his gloves, leaving behind a legacy that will inspire future generations of boxers in Wales and beyond.