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Page last updated at 22:10 GMT, Friday, 10 October 2008 23:10 UK

Cleverly wins Commonwealth crown

Nathan Cleverly and Tony Oakey
Cleverly came through his first-ever 12-round fight

Nathan Cleverly has been crowned Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion after an impressive points victory over Portsmouth's Tony Oakey in Liverpool.

The unbeaten Welsh hope was taken 12 rounds for the first time in his fledgling career by the journeyman.

Joe Calzaghe's 'protege' is the first Welshman to win the Commonwealth belt since Nicky Piper in 1997.

Cleverly won the title 119-110, 117-111 and 116-112 on points in just his 13th professional bout.

The 21-year-old maths university student admitted afterwards he "loved every minute" of his brawl with the man they call 'Oakey Kokey'.

606: DEBATE

Cleverly suffered a cut just above his right eye in the sixth round against former British champion Oakey, 32.

The Cefn Fforest fighter had been boxing superstar Joe Calzaghe's sparring partner until Cleverly left Enzo Calzaghe's renowned gym due to "boxing politics".

And Cleverly showed a work ethic and battling quality that his one-time mentor would have been proud of.

It may not have been Las Vegas, where Cleverly won on his previous outing, but he will never forget the Everton Park Sports Centre.

"What a memorable night for me, winning a title is something I have dreamed of since I was a kid," said Cleverly.

"I have worked hard for this but this is just the start for me - I want to rule the world."

Highly-rated Cleverly showed he has a bright future by dominating a wily and hugely experienced opponent in his first time going the distance.

Oakey endured plenty of crushing Cleverly uppercuts and had the scars to prove it but it was the Welshman's fitness and hard work that won him the title.

see also
Cleverly leaves Calzaghe stable
05 Sep 08 |  Boxing


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