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Page last updated at 10:59 GMT, Saturday, 10 October 2009 11:59 UK

Cleverly targets unlikely double

Nathan Cleverly
Nathan Cleverly is studying pure mathematics at Cardiff University

Welsh light-heavyweight boxer Nathan Cleverly is targeting an unlikely world crown and graduation double next year.

The 22-year-old continued his promising career as he retained his Commonwealth title for the fifth time with an impressive victory over Courtney Fry.

Maths student Cleverly knocked out the 2002 Commonwealth Games champion in the eighth to extend his unbeaten run.

"It would be spot on if I got a world title shot when I graduate from university next May or June," he said.

Cleverly is now set for a European title shot before Christmas following his 18th professional win - and his eighth career knockout - as he defeated 34-year-old renowned amateur Fry at London's legendary York Hall in Bethnal Green on Friday.

The Gwent valleys boxer is balancing his ring career with his studies and has just entered the final year of a pure mathematics degree at Cardiff University.

Now the man hailed by some critics as Welsh boxing's 'next Joe Calzaghe' hopes both careers add up to a crescendo next summer.

"That would be perfect timing," said Cleverly following his fifth successive knock-out.

"My win over Fry was a very important victory and it was nice to get it out of the way because I have a European title shot in December.

"I've dealt with a potentially dangerous opponent in Courtney Fry as he was up there in the ratings so it was important to get him out of the way.

"He was a different style of a boxer as he has a good amateur style, a Commonwealth gold medallist and an Olympic fighter, and was tall and had good jab.

"I had to change my game and try and outbox him. I boxed a little differently and looked for for big shot which thankfully came in the eighth round."

Archive: Cleverly's boxing clever

Cleverly has been hailed as a world champion of the future and is taking the more traditional, if not rare, route to the top.

He is ignoring the various lucrative yet relatively meaningless alphabet world titles as Cleverly has won the British and Commonwealth belts before he fights for a European crown in December.

"A lot of British fighters avoid this route because it is difficult," said Cleverly.

"You have to win every domestic belt along the way and you're beating every top ranked domestic fighter, which is a tough call.

"I'm doing it the hard way and I'm getting a lot more respect for that.

"I've beaten the top three ranked Great British fighters and I've only the European title left as now I don't want to start going backwards."

see also
Cleverly sees off Fry challenge
09 Oct 09 |  Boxing
Cleverly's boxing clever
09 Oct 09 |  Boxing
Cleverly targeting European belt
04 Oct 09 |  Boxing
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' boxing history in photos
24 May 09 |  Boxing
BBC Radio Wales' The Back Page
13 Jul 07 |  Wales
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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