• Light-heavyweight

Cleverly seeks rematch with Kovalev

ESPN staff
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Nathan Cleverly suffered the first loss of his career in August © PA Photos
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Nathan Cleverly has revealed he wants a rematch with Sergey Kovalev after initially hinting at hanging up his gloves.

The light-heavyweight suffered the first defeat of his career to Kovalev in August after being beaten in four rounds by the powerful Russian, relinquishing his WBO crown in front of his home fans in Cardiff.

Cleverly said after the bout he was going to consider his future, but now the 26-year-old Welshman only has one objective on his mind.

"There's only one fight I want and that's the rematch - I don't care about the money," Cleverly told BBC Radio Wales Sport. "Am I going to get it? Who knows?

"I'll try my best to get it, I'll go to America for it. It's not about the money for me - it's not about the pay-day - it's about having that chance to get my title back."

Cleverly was attempting to defend his WBO belt for a sixth time, and admits many may consider a rematch with Kovalev to be a surprise one.

"This guy, wow he hits hard you know. I've sparred with big punchers before and sparred heavyweights and I've fought good punchers but, this guy, he does hit freakishly hard. But I would still love the opportunity again," he said.

"Everything was going to plan in that fight, and [then] I got caught. And when I got caught it spiralled downhill then because I couldn't recover. But hopefully if we get the rematch I'll avoid getting caught with the big punch and maybe take him into my territory.

"If he beats me a second time I'll hold my hands up and congratulate him, but the chance to fight for my world title again - that's what I want next."

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