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Calzaghe tips strong Cleverly return after heavy loss

ESPN staff
August 24, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Nathan Cleverly looks dejected after suffering the first professional loss of his career © Getty Images
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Joe Calzaghe believes Nathan Cleverly will be hurting following the first professional loss of his career, but has backed his fellow Welshman to return stronger.

Cleverly was floored twice in his fourth round knockout defeat to Sergey Kovalev in Cardiff earlier in August and subsequently relinquished the WBO light-heavyweight title to the Russian.

The setback left Cleverly considering his future inside the ring, but Calzaghe insists Cleverly can bounce back and use the experience to return as a better fighter.

"Do not even look at me!"

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"First and foremost for now, Nathan needs a break, he needs to get away from it all and live life for a few weeks, eat, drink, go on holiday, be a normal guy," Calzaghe told the South Wales Argus.

"The only opinion that matters is Nathan's, he will know what is right for him, only he can know. If he decides to box on - and I think he will - Nathan must decide what is best for him, whether he stays training with his dad in South Wales or if he moves to further afield.

"It's sad to see, but that's boxing at the end of the day. All fighters - 99.9999% of fighters - eventually they will lose. It doesn't define you as a fighter. That's simple.

"It's honestly like Rocky Balboa says in the movies, it's not how hard you hit, it's how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

"I am sure by now Nathan has watched the fight back and will see he used the wrong tactics, he had a bad night in there, it's as simple as that.

"Sergey Kovalev was very strong, held his ground and that was about all, I felt he was very slow and looked beatable. But in order to do that Nathan needed to utilise his speed, he didn't do that and as his friend sitting at ringside, it was horrible to see him lose like that.

"But people will support him no matter what and I am confident he can get back to the top of the sport."

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