Nathan Cleverly retained his WBO light-heavyweight title at Wembley
Last Updated: April 21, 2013 12:19am
Nathan Cleverly: Out-worked and out-boxed Krasniqi
Nathan Cleverly retained his WBO light-heavyweight title with a lop-sided points victory over Robin Krasniqi at Wembley Arena.
On a big show in the capital, Cleverly hurt his opponent on several occasions but the plucky German dug in and deserved to hear the final bell.
'Clev' set the tone early on with long right hands and Kosovo-born Krasniqi was momentarily stunned in the opening session.
The challenger - in his first world title fight - landed the occasional shot but failed to do any damage and Cleverly continued to hunt his man down.
Two hard right hands in succession signaled the start of a lively fourth that saw Krasniqi rocked by a right uppercut and look hook, although the flailing Kosovan returned fire with a vicious shot of his own.
The Welshman dominated the fifth and he closed on an early stoppage but Krasniqi fought back in the next as the pair traded and as on so many previous occasions Cleverly was surprisingly easy to hit.
But by the ninth Cleverly had resumed full control and for the first time it seemed as though Krasniqi might not last the distance.
Only the bell saved him in the 10th as Cleverly began to unload, but the final two rounds were uneventful as it became clear he was unable find a finish.
"He was hurt a lot of times, but wasn't quite ready to go so I had to go back to Plan A and box," said Cleverly after winning by scores of 120-108 (twice) and 119-109.
"I felt good in there and I'm pleased with the performance, it was a nice boxing display. He was tough.
"At this level it's important to break your opponents down because these are world level fighters, 12-round fighters who are very tough, so you can't be gung-ho and reckless.
"I was surprised he went the full 12 rounds because I hurt him early on with the right hand and I thought that sooner or later he'd go.
"But he dug in, was very hungry and kept fighting back. It was important that I stayed focused and boxed."