Former WBO light heavyweight king Nathan Cleverly will be evaluating his career options tonight following a defeat to his Liverpudlian nemesis Tony Bellew at Liverpool’s Echo Arena, courtesy of a somewhat questionable majority decision.
Cleverly started proceedings with visible vigour, popping out a fast jab behind a high guard –undoubtedly positioned to weather Bellew’s considerable power.
The first four rounds presented a cagey encounter. Cleverly content to flick out his jab to find openings a thend more eye catching work coming from Bellew, who consistently pressed forward, launching right hands from a tentative jab as statements of aggressive intent.
The action continued in a one sided vein as Cleverly looked to have made his right hand redundant from early on in the contest, fuelling speculation that he may have broken it. This may have punctuated the lack of resistance from the Welshman in a fierce 10th round for Bellew, who appeared to delight in bouncing right hands off of the head and body of his meek foe.
Bellew may have felt aggrieved at the decision to award the contest to Cleverly, but will ultimately cherish the outcome of tonight’s battle. The scorecards of 115-114, 116-112 and 115-113 do little to portray what I feel was, though not particularly engaging at times, a show of dominance from Liverpool’s very own cruiserweight Bomber, who can now look towards a world title showdown with Marco Huck in 2015.