Nathan Cleverly has revealed he went toe-to-toe with Tony Bellew for 12 rounds despite nursing a cracked rib.
Cleverly ground out a majority decision against domestic rival Bellew to retain his WBO light-heavyweight title in Liverpool last Saturday.
However, the Welshman admitted he took a risk in facing the previous undefeated challenger by kept quite a rib injury sustained in training.
"I did it when I was training in London two weeks before the fight," said Cleverly. "I did six rounds with George Groves and then another six with Chris Eubanks' boy and in the 11th he caught me on the back and cracked a rib.
"But I had a week of sparring back home planned with Sam Sexton, a heavyweight, which I had to cancel because I could not take a shot to the rib because I was in so much pain.
"I saw the doctor and the physio and they both said the only thing was rest. My dad, girlfriend, Adam Booth and Groves, who had been there when it happened, were the only ones who knew. And I also told Frank Warren.
"I gave it a couple of days and in the end I said, 'bugger it - let's gamble on him not throwing any body shots with the left'" added the 24-year-old on BoxNation TV.
"He did throw a couple of left body-shots, one which caught me flush on the rib. It just sent a shooting pain right through my body because it's a three to six-week injury. It was so painful but I refused to give in and dug deep."
Tags: Nathan Cleverly , Tony Bellew , Cleverly-Bellew , Cleverly vs Bellew