Nathan Cleverly went through a lot just to get a four round fight today in London. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Nathan Cleverly won his first "world title" due to politics, and today made his first defense. Nothing this week came easy, as Juergen Braehmer pulled out of the originally scheduled fight, and then Tony Bellew was removed as replacement opponent. Cleverly finally wound up facing Poland's Aleksy Kuziemski, and was bumped from the main event.
Cleverly improved to 22-0 (11 KO) with an unsatisfactory cuts stoppage of Kuziemski in the fourth round. Kuziemski (21-3, 5 KO) did his best as a 48-hours short notice opponent, but was largely outclassed by a sharp-looking Cleverly, who hopefully will move forward next to a serious world-class opponent. The stoppage came quickly and suddenly. To be fair, there was blood, and plenty of it, but it still seemed a bit unexpected. Kuziemski's best work came in the third round, when he did hurt Cleverly, who to his credit got hurt taking the risks he's becoming somewhat famous for taking.
This was the second straight fight where Cleverly faced a late replacement, and for him to cement his status as a top light heavyweight, he needs a better challenge than what he's been facing.
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