• Light-heavyweight

Cleverly maintains title, Chisora wins on return

ESPN staff
April 20, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Nathan Cleverly was taken the full twelve rounds by Robin Krasniqi © AP
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Nathan Cleverly saw off a spirited Robin Krasniqi at Wembley Arena to successfully defend his WBO light-heavyweight title with a unanimous points-decision victory as Dereck Chisora enjoyed a winning return to the ring after a ninth round stoppage of Hector Avila.

The judges scored 120-108, 119-109 and 120-108 all in the Cleverly's favour as the Welshman produced an impressive performance to keep Krasniqi at bay.

Cleverly looked to fight on the front-foot from an early stage, issuing several jabs to Krasniqi in the first round before taking the fight to the German with a smart right-hand and uppercut in the second.

Krasniqi responded in the third with a strong right-hand of his own, but champion Cleverly continued to use his jab to good effect. A big left-right from the Welshman stunned Krasniqi in the fourth, before two more left-hooks had the challenger listening for the bell.

More body shots in the fifth and sixth concluded two impressive rounds from Cleverly, but Krasniqi stole the initiative in the seventh with a clever left-right combo.

The German found a second wind in the eighth and began to rally, but Cleverly continued to defend resolutely and stick with his jab through the later rounds, with victory being confirmed by the judges after the twelfth.

Dereck Chisora enjoyed a victorious return to the ring as he defeated Argentine Hector Avila with a ninth round stoppage at Wembley Arena.

Chisora enjoyed victory over Hector Avila on his return to the ring © Getty Images
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Chisora, fighting in his first bout since losing to David Haye in July, got the best of a cagey opening round, landing a couple of shots on the Argentine's body before opening up on his opponent in the second.

With his opponent on the ropes, Chisora looked to inflict maximum punishment with a series of big shots. Avila stood firm, and began to hold on to the Londoner in the third. 'Del Boy' countered with a couple of solid hits before the fourth offered nothing of note.

Avila finally started to rally in the fifth, but his efforts had little effect on Chisora, who again countered with a smart right-hook. The Argentinian was deducted a point in the sixth for use of the elbow, before both fighters began to labour through the late rounds.

Chisora landed a big left-hook in the eighth, but again Avila was quick to hold his opponent to prevent further hurt. However, Avila was powerless to prevent a Chisora assault in the corner during the ninth, and the referee seized the opportunity to end the bout and make it a winning return for 'Del Boy'.

"The guy came to spoil and that made it difficult. It's done and now we move on to bigger and better things," Chisora said.

Brian Rose added the vacant WBO intercontinental title to his achievements with a twelfth-round stoppage of former WBA champion Joachim Alcine.

With the fight seemingly looking like going the distance, Rose landed several heavy punches in the eleventh which hurt his opponent. With Alcine dazed, Rose administered multiple head-shots before referee Richie Favis stopped the bout a minute into the final round, handing Rose the vacant belt.

Lee Selby made light work of Australian challenger Corey McConnell to successfully defend his Commonwealth featherweight title, with the referee stopping the fight in the fifth round.

McConnell brought an undefeated record to the UK, but Barry-born Selby fought with class to upstage his opponent in Blackpool and claim victory.

British champion Paul Butler put in a stunning performance to claim the Commonwealth super-flyweight title from Yaqub Kareem, stopping the champion in the fifth round.

Unbeaten Butler dominated the bout, unleashing several body shots that had Kareem shaking before the referee called the stoppage 24 seconds into the fifth round.

WBO European lightweight champion Liam Walsh continued his unbeaten record with a unanimous points-decision victory over veteran challenger Scott Harrison.

A spirited Harrison cut Walsh above the eye the in the first round, but Cromer-born Walsh responded with clinical punches that ultimately made the difference.

Former WBO cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli stopped opponent Carl Wild in the sixth round of their lightweight bout at Wembley Arena.

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