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Cleverly: Karpency, Toughest Distance Foe of My Career

Nathan Cleverly praised the toughness of Tommy Karpency after his emphatic successful WBO light-heavyweight title defence against the American at his homecoming in Cardiff.

The 25-year-old was the overwhelming favourite going into the fight against the Pennsylvania southpaw, and was eager to impress in his first fight on home turf in over four years.

And he did so in superb fashion, taking control of the bout from the first bell to the last, not losing a round as all three judges scored the fight 120-108 in his favour.

Karpency, who battled gamely throughout, found his opponent's speed and accuracy too much to handle but refused to be bowed despite the severe punishment he took and he ended up going the distance thanks to his sheer bloody-mindedness.

"It was good boxing match. It was an excellent fight," he said. "Tommy showed tonight why he has sparred with world-class fighters. He is very tough, has good power and is a tough fighter.

"A lot of people criticised our choice of opponent but I have moved through the British scene with ease, I was in university when I was knocking out the British guys.

"So it shows at world level you can't take anything for granted. I knew if I took my eye off the game he would punish me.

"He was probably the toughest opponent I have faced over the distance. A lot of guys are tough over six rounds, but wilt in the championship rounds.

"But Tommy is a 12-round fighter and it makes a difference."

And Cleverly admitted his dominant performance had been the perfect manner in which to mark his return to Wales.

The win also marked stage two of a potential treble of sporting success for the principality following the rugby team's Triple Crown-clinching win over England at Twickenham on Saturday, with Cardiff facing Liverpool in the Carling Cup final on Sunday.

He said: "I was pleased with the homecoming, that was the important thing about tonight, bringing world title boxing back to Wales and it was a special occasion and to win every round is great."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by giacomino on 02-26-2012

The fact that this bumfight was considered his "toughtest" anything says a lot about Cleverly. Braehmer should be kicking himself in the a$& for giving away his belt to this guy

Comment by PlayerKiller on 02-26-2012

Starting to hate cleverly really

Comment by ophqui on 02-26-2012

Jesus cleverly really needs to step up and fight some

Comment by Ravens Fan on 02-26-2012

Wow, what a way to give credit to an opponent you shouldn't have been fighting in the first place.

Comment by Kilrain on 02-26-2012

Why is Cleverly so unwilling to give Bellew any credit? Clearly Bellew gave him a MUCH harder fight than Karpency did. Last night's fight was terrible, Karpency was just not interested and confessed to his own corner after four or…

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