Cleverly retires after Jack defeat

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Badou Jack (right) stepped up from super-middleweight for the first time to face Nathan Cleverly

Nathan Cleverly has retired from boxing after losing his WBA light-heavyweight title to Badou Jack.

The Welsh fighter, 30, was stopped in the fifth round by his Swedish opponent on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather’s win over Conor McGregor.

It was a fourth career defeat for Cleverly, who had won his WBA title with victory over Juergen Braehmer in October 2016.

“Time to say goodbye. Thank you and goodbye boxing,” he wrote on Twitter.

“I’ve lived it and loved every second of this sport. A few too many miles on the clock.”

Cleverly’s win against Braehmer saw him become the first Welshman to lose and regain a world title at the same weight, albeit the WBA’s secondary belt.

Cleverly made his professional debut as an 18-year-old in July 2005, and his stock soon rose as he fought several times on the undercard of his countryman and stablemate Joe Calzaghe.

He featured on the bill when Calzaghe beat Bernard Hopkins in Las Vegas in 2008, though Cleverly left Enzo Calzaghe’s boxing club in Newbridge later that year.

Cleverly went on to win Commonwealth and European titles before overcoming Nadjib Mohammedi to claim the interim WBO world light-heavyweight belt in 2010.

He was meant to fight Braehmer for the full title in 2011 but the German withdrew with injury, meaning Cleverly became the full champion.

Four successful defences of his title followed – including one over Tony Bellew – but Cleverly lost his belt with a brutal defeat against Sergey Kovalev in 2013.

He moved up to cruiserweight in 2014 but, despite winning the vacant WBA inter-continental title, he suffered a damaging defeat in a rematch with his bitter rival Bellew.

A return to light-heavyweight saw Cleverly earn respect with a gutsy defeat against Andrzej Fonfara.

But, after regaining his title against Braehmer, the comprehensive loss against Jack in Las Vegas prompted Cleverly to call time on his career.


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