Cleverly admits quit threat is serious
3:37pm Monday 19th August 2013 in Sport
NATHAN Cleverly has revealed he’s serious about potentially walking away from the sport, admitting that he “never,” expected to emulate Joe Calzaghe and remain unbeaten.
The 27-year old Cefn Fforest fighter lost his unbeaten record and his WBO light heavyweight world title on Saturday in Cardiff after being destroyed by huge-hitting Russian Sergey Kovalev.
Cleverly has already claimed he’s thinking of calling quits on the sport, while his father and trainer Vince told the Argus he believes his son might need a change of scenery and could be set to switch gyms, possibly even moving to the United States.
However, Nathan is making no such guarantees at the moment and insists he’s in no frame of mind to make any decisions.
“I've had two fights in a row now and I haven't really had a break and bounced straight back into this one – and it's been a long training camp,” Cleverly told Boxing News.
“So it's just time to have a normal life for a bit, maybe just have a couple of months just resting and enjoying myself and leaving it to my inclinations to guide me, really. See what my desire is, if I want to continue. Am I going to stay at light-heavy? Will I continue boxing? Do I want to find something else to do in life? It's a matter of having a break and letting my inclinations guide me.
“I don't feel too devastated, in all fairness, because when you're fighting someone like Kovalev, in preparation you're always telling yourself and setting yourself up for the worst, to an extent. 'What if you do lose? What if he does catch me and I can't recover and he beats me? Then what would I do in life? Would I continue? Or do I find another career path?' What's my gut instinct now? Just live a bit. Live a bit for a couple of months with friends, with family, have a few drinks, have a bit of junk food, have a few nights out, go on holiday. You know, your instinct will guide you. I've always said as soon as I lose in boxing I will get out of the sport. Do I stick to that? Who knows. We'll see.”
Cleverly did, however, admit he always expected to be defeated at some point in his career, despite the comparisons with his mentor Calzaghe.
“At this level in boxing it's only a matter of time. It's pretty much impossible to remain unbeaten. When it does happen it's a bit sickening but I'm in a good place,” he said.
“Kovalev’s very good. And I felt if there was someone to beat him it would be me. I thought I was the guy who would possibly beat Kovalev because of my speed and my chin and my stamina I thought I had the style to beat him, but I didn't get the chance. He caught me in the third round. It's a shame.”
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