Former world champion Nathan Cleverly put himself firmly back in the mix at 175lbs despite going down to a unanimous decision loss to Andrzej Fonfara in Chicago on Friday night.
The 28 year-old was defeated for the third time in six bouts against the rangy Pole at the UIC Pavilion, although did enough to prove that there is still life left in his faltering career.
Following Tony Bellew’s cruiserweight revenge win last November, Cleverly was at a crossroads having decided to move back down to light heavyweight, and there have been considerable doubts that the ex-WBO title holder could once again compete with the best.
Cleverly firmly proved that he can answer any chin or heart questions when opposing Fonfara for the duration of the encounter with a highly spirited showing that wowed the US fans.
The Cefn Forest native also has valid claims for a rematch with Fonfara after slugging it out with one of the top fighters at the weight and only just coming up short.
Back in the UK, Cleverly remains the number one in the division and could now be in line for huge domestic affairs with the likes of Paul Smith Jr and fellow Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli, whilst a return to Premier Boxing Champions in the US looks a certainty on this weekend’s showing.
Watch highlights below courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions: