• Nathan Cleverly v Shawn Hawk

Cleverly defeats Hawk to retain title

ESPN staff
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Nathan Cleverly celebrates his win © PA Photos
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Nathan Cleverly held onto his WBO world light-heavyweight title in Los Angeles on Saturday evening with a stoppage win over Shawn Hawk.

Cleverly dominated the bout, with the referee ultimately stepping in to end the fight in the eighth round. The Welshman has now gone 25 contests without a loss.

After starting with some fiece combinations to the head of Hawk, Cleverly concentrated on attacking his opponent's body as the rounds rolled on. He then floored Hawk on two occasions in the seventh to assert his authority and claim a firm hold of the bout.

Indeed, following yet another knockdown in the eighth round, the referee waved off the contest to hand Cleverly a deserved win.

"This proves I'm ready for the States, I just hope their best fighters are ready to fight me,'' Cleverly told BBC Sport Wales.

"I had a late replacement opponent and that can be dangerous as he came in with nothing to lose. He was quite a big puncher with a good knockout record.

"But I felt great early on and thought the writing was on the wall for him - I felt unstoppable in there. I've enjoyed the experience and feel I made the most of a great opportunity of fighting in the States.''

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