Boxing


Nathan Cleverly Closes In On World Title

Welsh ace Nathan Cleverly will graduate from Cardiff University in July - and wants to win a world title later this year. Cleverly will become a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics if he passes his finals, but is promising to reach the level of professor when it comes to boxing.

And now his academic duties are at an end the British and European light-heavyweight champion believes he will massively improve as a fighter..

"I've been a part time boxer for the past four years because I've had to fit in my studies as well," said Cleverly.

"I'm not saying I've given boxing 100%, because I have, but people are going to see a much better fighter now I've only got one thing to concentrate on.

"I've just had the hardest few weeks of my life because I have been doing my finals, but it won't be anything compared to the work I'll have to put in if I want to win a world title."

Cleverly is not far off a crack at one of the big four belts, and the undefeated 23-year-old is at number three with the WBO and IBF, six with the WBC and 11 with the WBA.

It's no surprise given he is undefeated as a professional, and as well as the European title he has lifted the British and Commonwealth crowns.

"I'm probably a few fights away from a world title shot, but if the opportunity came along tomorrow then I would take it with both hands," he said.

"I'd love a defence of my European title this summer or in September, and then hopefully I can push on from there and get my world title chance.

"There are some great names at light-heavyweight at the moment and when you look at the top 10 it makes you realise it's going to be a tough road to the top.

"You've got the likes of Chad Dawson, Glen Johnson, Jean Pascal, Tavoris Cloud, Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones Jnr and Antonio Tarver in the rankings, so winning a world won't be easy."

Article posted on 11.06.2010



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