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Cleverly Fought Bellew With a Cracked Rib From Training

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."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by PensionKillerer on 10-20-2011

Bellew was doing very well and has a really fast jab, however he did gas out towards the end. Bellew himself admitted he lost it just. It was a good fight for British Boxing I feel. Also ribs crack relatively…

Comment by Team Vitaminas on 10-20-2011

I saw the fight and I thought Bellew won. I guess they have to say that so he don't look as bad.but really I don't giva s[I]hi[/I]t ,that was the first time I saw the two fight and I was…

Comment by Jeff Da Maori on 10-20-2011

Credit to Cleverly, he did take a couple of meaty body shots in that fight. I hope David Haye reads this, and is even more ashamed of the way he used a sore toe as the reason he lost to…

Comment by SP1 on 10-20-2011

Respect for that right there.

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