Former WBO light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly has admitted that his career in boxing could be over after the Welshman suffered a heartbreaking knockout defeat to Russian power-puncher Sergey Kovalev in Cardiff.
The 26 year-old, who has a degree in Mathematics, lost for the first time on Saturday night whilst on the cusp of a massive unification with American legend Bernard Hopkins and will now take stock before making a final decision.
“I could leave it there or give it another go,” Cleverly told Wales Online’s Gareth Rogers. “I will have a holiday now and recover and see where I go from here and see what I want to do in life now.
“I will go away and live a normal life for a bit now. Just leave boxing for a bit – it has been an intense period.
“You know six weeks into that where you want to go. Your instincts tell you if you are missing boxing, or are you going to find another career path. Who knows where my heart is going to lie?
“If I continue, I will come back and give it a go. But the background I have got and the brain I have got, do I really need to continue? It could go either way, my career.”
Cleverly holds a 26-1 record after the fourth round stoppage, but looked out of his depth against his toughest test and may find it a struggle hitting those heights he has over the past few years again in the future.
Not known as a heavy hitter, and now having been stopped in a bad way, Cleverly’s reputation in the ring has taken a massive knock and a tentative rebuilding job will be needed if the talented fighter is to return to the sport.