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I'm on Calzaghe trail - Cleverly

By Sean Davies
BBC Sport at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium

Nathan Cleverly
Cleverly says he is learning quickly in the Calzaghe gym

Super-middleweight prospect Nathan Cleverly feels on course to follow stable-mate Joe Calzaghe after growing his unbeaten record on Saturday.

"It's fantastic for Welsh boxing that someone like Joe allows us to come through and fight on such a fantastic Millennium Stadium card," he said.

"I've got a lot of developing to do, but I'm holding my own with Joe and Enzo Maccarinelli in the gym."

Cleverly beat tough Joey Vegas over eight rounds with a 78-75 decision.

I won't be hitting my peak for about eight years, but think how good the wars I'm having in the gym now are doing me for the future

Nathan Cleverly

That took the 20-year-old's record to 11-0 (3 KOs), but he had to dig deep against the Tottenham-based Ugandan.

The silky-skilled Blackwood youngster was drawn into a war and rocked badly in the fourth, but he came through to complete eight rounds for the second time in his career.

"Vegas has a good pedigree so I was under no illusions about how tough he would be," said Cleverly.

"He caught me flush when I wasn't expecting it in the fourth, but that was a good learning experience.

"I can box and I can fight, but I like to fight too much and [trainer] Enzo [Calzaghe] wants me to use my skills more.

Kerry Hope (right)
Hope completed a clean sweep for Enzo Calzaghe's fighters

"I'm still young and won't be hitting my peak for about eight years, but think how good the wars I'm having in the gym now are doing me for the future.

"I want to keep on progressing, to go for the British title, then maybe a world crown in a couple of years."

Elsewhere on the undercard, middleweight prospect Kerry Hope completed a clean sweep for Enzo Calzaghe's fighters.

The Merthyr man claimed an easy four-round 40-35 points win over journeyman Ernie Smith to extend his record to 11-0 (1 KO).

Rhondda light welterweight Barrie Jones extended his unbeaten record to 15-0 (7 KOs).

But he was made to struggle over four rounds by game late stand-in Silence Saheed, with many feeling that the home fighter's 39-37 margin was over-generous.

see also
BBC Sport Wales coverage
07 Aug 07 |  Wales
Macca makes comfortable defence
04 Nov 07 |  Boxing
Inside Team Calzaghe
29 Oct 07 |  Boxing


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