Nathan Cleverly Advances to 14-0, Stops Douglas Otieno In 4th Round

by James Slater - Last night, in Widnes, UK, gifted and unbeaten light-heavyweight Nathan Cleverly won for the fourteenth time, and scored his fourth KO, as he sensationally flattened Kenyan southpaw Douglas Otieno with a sweet right uppercut in the 4th round of his first Commonwealth title defence..

Knocking the 27-year-old out cold at 2 minutes and 39-seconds of the 4th, Cleverly, not normally looked at as a puncher, proved he can bang. Otieno is no world-beater, but he had previously only lost one fight, and he had never been stopped before. Looking once again like one of the very best world title prospects in Britain, if not Europe, the 21-year-old has an incredibly bright future - as his promoter Frank Warren is only too aware.

Speaking before the win over the capable Kenyan, Warren said how Cleverly will likely box for a world title in the next eighteen months or so. Speaking post-fight last night, the Welshman said he feels he is ready for any light-heavyweight in Britain, but he also added that he will not let his recent success go to his head and that it is still "early days." As intelligent out of the ring as he is inside it (Nathan studies mathematics at Cardiff university), Cleverly has a good attitude.

Appearing to be more experienced at his craft than he actually is, the Commonwealth champ is also very relaxed in the ring. Last night he also showed he can bang when he wants to.

The 6'1" Cleverly won each of the first three rounds, using his long reach to out-jab Otieno, while also landing some good right hands to the head along with some hard body shots with both hands. Cleverly's jab is both fast and accurate and he was in total charge last night. The southpaw was game, and did manage to get in close and stop the prospect from looking his usual smooth self, but the defending champion never looked at all distressed.

Otieno had his best round in the 3rd, but it was still a Cleverly session. Then came the stunning finish. A right hand scored for Cleverly and shortly after it landed the Kenyan stumbled to the floor. No knockdown was called by referee Phil Edwards, rightly, but not too much later Otieno would be on the canvas for real. A warning was given to Cleverly for a low blow that seemed borderline to this writer, before the finish arrived seconds later.

Pretty much from nowhere, a perfect right uppercut caught the challenger perfectly on the chin and Otieno went down on his back - totally out. There was no chance he was going to beat the count, and the visitor lost for just the second time in his career; falling to 18-2(8).

The word is British light-heavyweight champion Dean Francis will be next for Cleverly, and that fight will be another fascinating step in the talented Welshman's career.

Article posted on 14.12.2008

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