Imagine Boxing Blogs

The Bright Young Hope

Why Cleverly is the future

Posted Oct 07, 2010 by Shaun Edwards

Congratulations are in order for Nathan Cleverly, after deservedly winning the Boxing Writer’s Young Boxer of the Year award.  The young man has had a truly fantastic year and does fully deserve the recognition.  With the recent disgrace of Ricky Hatton, it seems like it’s time for him to take the reputation as being the most exciting young boxer in Britain.   

What he’s achieved at such a young age is genuinely quite remarkable, even in a sport that frequently generates hyper achievers.  Cleverly is still undefeated after twenty bouts – an impressive record for any boxer, but the young Welshman has somehow managed to do so whilst obtaining a 2:2 degree in Mathematics from the University of Leeds.   

Unusually for a boxer, Cleverly didn’t initially seem to portray the extreme confidence that tends to come with achievement, his ambition only truly shining through following the 2008 Commonwealth Games.  Following his Gold Medal victory over Tony Oakey, Cleverly finally showed that flash of ambition that all great boxers have, claiming that he wanted to ‘rule the world!’ 

His transformation since that first big declaration has been superb.  Firstly, he fought for the British Championship in July 2009, with his opponent Danny McIntosh standing between him and a second title.  Cleverly won the strap having knocked over the champion four times before the match was stopped, immediately making the claim to be the best light heavyweight in the British Isles. 

 Following on from this further claim of entitlement, he fought Clinton Woods, who was Cleverly’s main British opponent in the weight division, and had earlier challenged for the IBF World Title.  Cleverly was once again victorious, and with Woods promptly retiring, Cleverly was officially the best in Britain. 

Now, then, the Welshman stands on the cusp of a World Title, with the WBO title within his grasp.  Whether or not he obtains it at first go, Cleverly has all the time to become one of the greats.  This highly deserved award is only the beginning.

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