Cleverly lost his WBA light-heavyweight title in Las Vegas on Saturday night,
as Badou Jack won via technical knockout in an extremely impressive performance
on the Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor undercard.
Jack, who was fighting at light-heavyweight for the first time having decided to move up a weight class after his majority draw with James DeGale in January, looked sharp throughout and won the contest in the fifth round, having completely outclassed the Welshman.
In his first defence of the WBA light-heavyweight title he won last year by beating Jürgen Brähmer, Cleverly started the busier of the two men. He landed a painful combination to the body of Jack, before staring down his opponent at the ball after the Swede found fault with a straight right thrown momentarily after the bell.
Having made the more tentative start Jack then grew into the contest, taking control of the second round and dominating from there on in. In the second and third rounds he peppered Cleverly with painful body shots before really beginning to unload in the fourth.
A perfectly-timed left-hook caught Cleverly flush on the chin at the end the fourth, before Jack went to work in the fifth. He backed his opponent up onto the ropes and landed several punishing shots, before the referee waved off the contest to hand Jack the WBA title.
With blood pouring freely from his nose and a deep gash above his left eye, the referee had little choice but to intervene and wave off the contest, to hand Jack the WBA title.
“It’s a dream come true,” Jack said after his win.
“I learnt from last time that you can’t leave it in the hands of the judges and that you have to go in for the kill.”