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Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Wednesday, 9 September 2009 12:55 UK

Cleverly faces Fry at York Hall

Cleverly celebrates his win over Tony Oakey
Cleverly wants to secure a Lonsdale belt before moving to world level

Nathan Cleverly will defend his British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight titles against Liverpool's Courtney Fry on 9 October at London's York Hall.

The 22-year-old Cefn Fforest man had been due to fight in Belfast, but the show was cancelled following an injury to headline-act Marty Rogan.

Fry, 34, has won 13 and lost two of his bouts, including a defeat to Cleverly-victim Tony Oakey in February.

Cleverly's long-term target Clinton Woods has retired from boxing.

Welshman Cleverly is one of nine fighters up for the young boxer of the year award and is joint favourite with Kell Brook to claim the prestigious prize.

Cleverly won the Commonwealth crown in Liverpool last year and has had title fights in Widnes, Swindon and London.

Before the initial announcement of the Belfast bout, Cleverly said he was keen for a first title bout on home soil as he seeks to follow Joe Calzaghe as Wales' boxing star.

"I've not boxed in Wales for a while and I've never had a title fight in Wales," said Cleverly.


"I'm going to be ringing promoter Frank Warren and asking for a date to put in my diary.

"The Welsh fans are among the most passionate in the world and I plan on giving them something to shout about over the next few years.

"Joe [Calzaghe] put Welsh boxing back on the map and was fantastic for the whole sport in Britain.

"I was sad to see him quit, but it's given me the chance to spearhead a new era of boxing here."

Cleverly, about to enter the final year of a maths degree at Cardiff University, added the British title to his Commonwealth crown with a thrilling seven-round win over Danny McIntosh at the York Hall last month.

That took his record to 17 victories, with seven knock-outs, in as many fights, the last four ending in impressive stoppages that have convinced the likes of Barry McGuigan that the Welshman can reach the top.

Cleverly insists that he wants to notch three more British title wins to secure a Lonsdale belt before moving on to world level.

I don't mind hanging around at this level for a little while if it means I can get a Lonsdale belt outright

Nathan Cleverly

"When I was growing up I had plenty of ambitions in boxing," he said.

"I always wanted to follow the traditional route of winning British, Commonwealth, European and world titles.

"I'm halfway there having won British and Commonwealth, but I don't mind hanging around at this level for a little while if it means I can get a Lonsdale belt outright.

"It would mean so much to me to get the British title for keeps.

"When I beat McIntosh it was a special feeling and I don't think the British title has left my side since.

"I even sleep with it under my pillow and I can't contemplate the thought of giving it back if I move on to the European or world stage."

see also
Rogan-Sexton contest is put back
09 Sep 09 |  Boxing
Cleverly has Woods in his sights
17 Aug 09 |  Boxing
Odyssey next on Cleverly journey
14 Aug 09 |  Boxing
Is Cleverly the new Calzaghe?
22 Jul 09 |  Boxing
Cleverly targets world title tilt
20 Jul 09 |  Boxing
Cleverly stops McIntosh for title
18 Jul 09 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing world champions
25 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Wales' pugilist princes
15 May 09 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing history in photos
24 May 09 |  Boxing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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