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Page last updated at 22:10 GMT, Sunday, 4 October 2009 23:10 UK

Cleverly targeting European belt

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

Nathan Cleverly has been nominated to fight for the vacant European light-heavyweight title, but knows he must first get past Courtney Fry on Friday.

The 22-year-old undefeated British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion defends his belts against Liverpool's Fry, 34, in London's York Hall.

"There's a lot riding on this fight because doors are beginning to open for me," said Cefn Fforest man Cleverly.

"It's been a big boost being nominated for the European title."

Should the Fry fight go to plan, Cleverly expects to get a shot at the European crown in December, perhaps on the undercard of Amir Khan v Dmitriy Salita in Newcastle.

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

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

The Cardiff University maths student then added the British title to his Commonwealth crown with a thrilling seven-round win over Danny McIntosh at the York Hall in July.

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

"I've always wanted to win as many titles as possible," said the Welshman.

"Obviously it's up to my promoter Frank Warren who I fight, but if he thinks the European title is the way to go then I'll bite his hand off if he offers me that fight.

"My ultimate aim is to win a world title, but I've always wanted to go the traditional route of winning British, Commonwealth and European titles before I get there.

"At the moment I'm half way to fulfilling my dream, and I'm definitely ready to step up to the next level.

"I've got a few options at the moment and I'm excited about what the next 12 months will bring.

"But if I lose to Fry then all that will turn to dust.

"There's only one fight that I'm focusing on at the moment and that's my next one."



see also
Cleverly beaten to award by Brook
25 Sep 09 |  Boxing
Cleverly faces Fry at York Hall
09 Sep 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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