Boxing


Nathan Cleverly Continues To Impress, Stops Billy Boyle In Second-Round

by James Slater - Last night, at the historic York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, 22-year-old Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly made impressively short work of a game but outclassed Billy Boyle. Marking Boyle up beneath the left eye and raking him with shots from both hands to body and head, Welshman Cleverly persuaded 32-year-old Boyle's trainer, Glyn Rhodes, to throw in the towel. The time was just two minutes and 27-seconds of the round, and the ambitious and genuinely talented Cleverly improved to 16-0(6). Sheffield man Boyle, who has only been boxing at pro level since 2007, fell to 12-2(7). This was the first time Billy had been stopped..

Looking for all the world like a fighter from a higher division, the Commonwealth champ let Boyle come at him and looked to counter. Faster, bigger, and more powerful, the Welshman soon found his range and began connecting on his opponent's head and body. Some eye-catching right hands to the head scored for Cleverly, and a superb left jab smacked into the challenger's head, snapping it back. Despite Boyle's spirit and willingness to try, it was all Cleverly in the opening three minutes.

Nothing changed in the 2nd round, apart from the fact that the 22-year-old - who really is going places - upped his punch output. More body work dug into Boyle's midsection and then the champion landed some hurtful uppercuts to Boyle's head. Landing with both hands again, pretty much at will, Cleverly had by now made a mess of the 32-year-old's left eye and a quick stoppage win looked to be on the cards. Sure enough, seeing his man take more hurt, trainer Rhodes threw in the white flag so as to allow Boyle to fight another day.

Some will not feel too impressed with what Cleverly did last night, pointing to the fact that Boyle was such a novice at age 32. However, many respected experts predicted a distance fight going in, and a second-round win has to be applauded. Some fans felt the need to boo the stoppage last night, but it was entirely the right thing to do. The shorter man at 5'11.5" to Cleverly's 6'1," Boyle was never going to get into the fight.

One of the U.K's best world title prospects right now, Cleverly looks to have a very bright future ahead of him. He is next scheduled to face unbeaten 29-year-old Danny McIntosh on July 18th, in a bout that will contest the vacant British light-heavyweight title. Last night's victory saw the 22-year-old's third retention of his Commonwealth crown.

Article posted on 23.05.2009



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