All eyes will be on the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight on August 26, but the undercard shouldn’t be ignored since Nathan Cleverly will be defending his WBC Regular Light Heavyweight Championship. The 30-year-old Welsh boxer is fighting Badou Jack to defend his title.
Cleverly, whose nickname is “Clev,” has a 30-3 record, with 16 wins by knockout. He turned professional in 2005 and has also fought in the cruiserweight class. He was born in Caerphilly, South Wales.
You can follow Cleverly on Twitter.
Here’s what you need to know about “Clev.”
1. He’s Dating Model Rebecca Cole
Cleverly has been in a long-term relationship with Beverly Cole, a model. She was recently seen in a photo Cleverly posted to wish everyone a Happy New Year on December 31. In 2010, The BBC reported that Cole was a Miss Great Britain finalist.
“I’ve always watched him boxing, ever since we got together back in 2008,” Cole told Wales Online in December 2010.
She said they met after a boxing promoter asked her to carry the Welsh flag before one of Cleverly’s fights. A month later, “he got in touch with me and we just clicked. We’ve been together ever since.”
“Everybody always asks me whether I get nervous watching him fight in the ring and, to be honest, I feel what he feels. I get to see him before a fight and if he’s nervous, then I’m nervous or if he’s excited, I’m exited,” Cole told Wales Online. “And then when he’s fighting, I tend to watch him not his opponent. Nathan has this thing where if he’s done well, he’ll raise his fist after a round so I end up concentrating on whether he has done that or not.”
2. Cleverly Will Earn at Least $100,000 for Fighting Jack, Who’s Getting at Least $750,000
Although Cleverly is the defending light heavyweight champion, his purse is significantly less than Jack’s. As ESPN reports, Mayweather is guaranteed a $100 million purse for the fight, while McGregor is guaranteed $30 million. That number will likely skyrocket to over $100 million thanks to his share of the promotion.
The undercard fighters will receive much less. Jack is guaranteed $750,000, while Cleverly will make $100,000. He is likely to add to that through British TV deals, ESPN notes.
The site Famous People Net Worth estimates Cleverly’s net worth at $3 million.
3. He Said If He Beats Jack, It Will Be His ‘Best Ever Win’
Cleverly believes this fight against Jack could be the most important of his career and it’s not just because he’s fighting on the same stage as McGregor and Mayweather. If he wins, he’ll beat Jack, who is making his debut in the light heavyweight class.
“It’s difficult (stepping up in weight). The other fighters, the weight advantage: you can feel that solidness, that strength, that toughness. That’s what Jack will feel,” Cleverly told the Press Association. “This will be my best ever win. The winner goes on to be elite.”
Clevelry has held the WBC Regular Light Heavyweight title since 2016. He also held the WBO title from 2011 to 2013.
“You just want the ground to swallow you up, losing your world title, I was devastated,” Cleverly told the Press Association. ” I love being a world champion – that’s what I’m in boxing for, to be the best, to be world champion, the big fights. High-risk fights, I love them.”
4. He Grew Up Interested in Soccer & Running Before Focusing on Boxing
As Cleverly notes on his website, he also grew up playing soccer and ran cross-country before ultimately deciding to focus on boxing. He begged his parents to start taking him to the gym. After finally convincing them, his father Vince took him to the Newbridge Boxing Club, which was run by Enzo Calzaghe, reports South Wales Argus.
“I grew up until the age 11 in Phillipstown near New Tredegar,” Cleverly told Argus in 2011. “It was quite a rough area with not many facilities for young people, and I was getting involved in a lot of street fights. I wanted to start boxing to do something productive and channel my energy into that instead.”
Growing up, Cleverly was dedicated to becoming a champion.
“I said I would be world champion. I had unbelievable passion,” he told Argus in 2011. “I knew I was good from the street fights so I kept training and winning. I was destined to train professionally and I knew from a young age that was where my heart was.”
5. Cleverly Has a Degree in Mathematics From Cardiff University
When Cleverly retires, he’ll be able to put his math skills to work. In July 2010, The BBC reported that Cleverly finished his mathematics degree from Cardiff University. Although he was already a European boxing champion at the time, Cleverly still called his four years at university the “best of my life.”
“I have always tried to make the most of my opportunities – whether it is an exam or a fight,” Cleverly told the BBC. “My tutors at Cardiff have been very good about giving me the time I needed for boxing – and likewise, my trainers have understood the demands of undergraduate study.”
In Another BBC interview in 2010, Cleverly said focusing on boxing full-time will make him a better fighter.
“I’m going to be a much better fighter when I go full time, and people are going to see a massive improvement in the next six months,” Cleverly said. “Hopefully I can get a quick defence of my European title in, then it’s a question of waiting for my opportunity at world level.”