Nathan Cleverly left the Wembley Arena in London with his WBO light heavyweight title and unbeaten record intact on Saturday when he more or less scored a shutout 12 round points win over Robin Krasniqi.
The Welshman, who won his 26th straight fight by scores of 120-108,119-109 and 120-108, will set his sights on a unification bout with IBF king and American boxing legend Bernard Hopkins. Krasniqi was as brave as they come, absorbing a lot of Cleverly’s big punches but he was massively outclassed and had never fought at this level before despite his impressive 39-2 record going into the fight.
Krasniqi was caught with some big uppercuts and right hands but he also had the odd moment of success with the left hook.
Cleverly was surprised the mandatory challenger lasted the 12 rounds and praised the Kosovan’s brave heart.
"He was hurt a lot of times, but wasn’t quite ready to go so I had to go back to Plan A and box," Cleverly said after the fight.
"I felt good in there and I’m pleased with the performance, it was a nice boxing display. He was tough.
"I was surprised he went the full 12 rounds because I hurt him early on with the right hand and I thought that sooner or later he’d go.
On the undercard heavyweight Dereck Chisora made a winning return to the ring when he scored a ninth round tko win over Hector Alfredo Avila.
April 20, 2013