Former champion Nathan Cleverly retires after getting pulverized by Swedish challenger and now secondary champion Badou Jack.
Cleverly had little to offer in terms of competition before getting stopped in the fifth round via technical knockout.
Jack seeks to do more damage in the light heavyweight division moving forward no doubt.
Cleverly (30-4 16 KO), from Wales, was making his first defense since winning his secondary “regular” WBA belt from German fighter Jurgean Braehmer due to Braehmer being injured in the sixth round of that fight last October.
Jack (22-1-2 13 KO), on the other hand, has had an axe to grind after coming off two consecutive draws to Lucian Bute (32-5 25 KO) (now a DQ win for Jack after Bute failed a drug test), and just this past January to James DeGale (23-1-1 14KO) at Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn where many spectators thought he had done enough to earn both victories.
In the bout with DeGale he had knocked out some of DeGale’s teeth.
“You can’t leave it in the hands of the judges, you have to go for the kill,” Jack said after the fight. The Swede fighting out of Las Vegas demonstrably showing his frustrations for the past few fights.
“Jack was very strong. He caught me and broke my nose in the third round,” Cleverly said.
“It was a downward spiral from there. I was wounded and protecting myself,” he continued, referring to the end of the bout where an obviously hurt Cleverly was trapped on the ropes throwing only a small ratio to the punches Jack had before the referee stepped in to save him.
Cleverly announced his retirement on Twitter shortly after the fight, praising Jack and his fans in years past who stood by him:
“Thank you for the opportunity to fight on this event. Also a massive shout-out to those who have supported me over the years. “Well done to the new champion [Jack],…a few too many miles on the clock. Thank you, and goodbye, boxing.”
Cleverly had made five defenses of the WBO light heavyweight title before running into Sergey Kovalev.
Jack has since called out WBC and lineal champion Adonis Stevenson (29-1 24KO), who now has a mandatory with undefeated challenger Eleider Alvarez (23-0 11KO).
The light heavyweight division also expects something new from unified champion Andre Ward (32-0 16KO), who has pondered many directions since his TKO victory of Sergey Kovalev (30-2-1 26KO) this past June.