LAS VEGAS - APRIL 19:  (R-L) Nathan Cleverly o...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Nathan Cleverly V Courtney Fry
From the York Hall, Bethnal Green for the British and Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Titles.

The young Welshman Nathan Cleverly retained his British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight titles in what promised on paper to be a good evenly matched contest between the rampant Cleverly and the seasoned Amateur star Courtney Fry.
The fight started at a quick pace with Cleverly sharp as a button firing quick jabs then slipping Fry’s counters to land his fast over hand rights.
Fry coming off second best in the early exchanges, begins landing uppercuts that start to make Cleverly think.

Cleverly who comes from Cefn Fforest in Wales and as sparred hundreds of rounds with Joe Calzaghe, as well as his own Dad, his trainer, starts the second round as if he is settling down and begins to think more about what he is doing stalking Fry and trying differant angles.

Fry 34 from North London but based in Liverpool, turned pro late after a very good amateur career, comes back into fight in this only his second 12 rounder. Cleverly starts the third looking to land big shots and hurts Fry with a right hand and then a meaty left hook, beginning to find his range and pinning Fry down, Cleverly takes the third and begins to look like he is taking control of the fight.

Courtney Fry who lost in the prize fighter final against Cleverly old foe Tony Oakley and with
a professional career of 13 wins and 2 defeats and who’s paid career as never lived up to the
promise he shown as an amateur, starts the fourth round again on the receiving end with
Cleverly coming forward trying to soften Fry up with good body work.
Fry responds with good uppercuts. but is not quicker enough to counter Cleverly’s quick punches. Fry still very much in the fight and is making Cleverly think. Fry’s good defensive work ends an even fourth round.

Fry starts round five with a good left hook, pushing Cleverly back.
Cleverly now starts to use his own uppercut to effect, and hurts Fry stopping him in his tracks.
Another right uppercut hurts Fry and Cleverly finishes the round with a good flurry,
although Fry is still very much in the fight.

With both fighters looking to use jab at the beginning of the sixth, Fry looks to push Cleverly back
and with his jab peppering out, not all landing, it IS still causing Cleverly puzzles, which in and out of the ring Mr Cleverly is more than accustomed to dealing with, he is studying for a masters degree in maths. A better round from Fry, but Cleverly’s speed is keeping him in the drivers seat.

Round seven goes the same way as the previous with Fry trying to take Cleverly out of his stride with his pawing jab. Round eight sees Fry on the front foot looking to land a long jab.
With a change in attack Fry is looking more confident and with Cleverly not committing himself as much, Fry looking to come forward takes a big right hand from Cleverly and he is hurt,
With his opponent in trouble, Cleverly pounces landing big punches as Fry try’s to cover up on the ropes. Cleverly plants his feet landing hard accurate punches with Fry about to go, referee Victor Laughlin jumped in to rescue him on the ropes, falling over himself in the process whilst saving Fry from going down.

There were no complaints from Fry who you feel knew it was slipping away and the young 22 year old Cleverly was just too much for him this night. Cleverly who now as 18 straight wins, is now being lined up for a European title fight by his promoter Frank Warren possibly in December against Italian Antonio Brancalion in Italy.

“I was very happy with that,” Cleverly said. “I took a couple and gave quite a few. It keeps my European title path alive.”

At just 22 Nathan Cleverly looks like a man on a mission with the British and Commonwealth Title in his grip and surely he will be to good for Brancalion, his dreams of fighting and beating the worlds best his dreams may be coming true sooner rather than later. After Joe Calzaghe’s retirement is Cleverly the latest welsh Boxing hero to take his mantle? Cleverly certainly has all the tools for the job and at this stage experience is what he needs before moving onto the world stage. A couple of defensive of a European Title as well as his current titles can help him get rounds under his belt. Nathan is a quality operator and is certainly going to make boxing‘s Light Heavyweights take note. A future world champion? British Boxers think so.

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