Boxing: Nathan Cleverly admits he may never fight again after crushing Sergey Kovalev defeat

Welshman is considering his future in the sport after losing his WBO title

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The Independent Online

Former WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly has admitted he may never box again after his devastating fourth-round defeat by Sergey Kovalav at the weekend - the first loss of his career.

The 26-year-old told Boxing News: "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.

"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."

He added: "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 could not get going against his lethal Russian opponent in Cardiff, who extended  his unbeaten record to 20 stoppages in his 22 victories, and dropped  Cleverly twice in the third round before referee Terry O'Connor stepped in to halt the contest in the fourth.

“I suppose I wasn't surprised because with his record it was inevitable that he was a banger and every shot he threw was a thudding shot. It was like a hammer," he said.

"He wasn't rapid fast, he had good timing, good distance and his punches were just so hard... His jab, his right hand. Just when he caught you on the shoulder he would have an impact and he was just clubbing me."

Cleverly's promoter Frank Warren was reluctant to discuss a rematch with Kovalev such was the comprehensive manner of the defeat.

“There isn't a rematch clause but I'm sure we could talk.

"At this stage I'm not even thinking about a rematch. The most important thing now is for him to go and have a holiday and when he comes back we'll chat and see what is the way forward."