WBO lightweight beltholder Nathan Cleverly made a successful second defense of his belt by winning a toe-to-toe clash of unbeaten United Kingdom fighters against challenger Tony Bellew on Saturday at Echo Arena, in Liverpool, England.
In victory, the 24-year-old rose to 23-0 with 11 knockouts, winning by scores of 117-112 and 116-113 on the cards of David Parris and Phil Edwards, respectively, and judge Terry O’Connor having it even at 114-114.
The 28-year-old Bellew, of Liverpool, slipped to 16-1, with 10 stoppages. Bellew was coming off a unanimous decision over Ovill McKenzie in July.
Cleverly won the belt with a unanimous decision over Madjib Mohammedi in December of last year, and stopped Aleksy Kuziemski in the fourth round of his first defense in October.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com