Wales' Nathan Cleverly successfully retained the WBO light heavyweight title Saturday night, outpointing hometown favorite Tony Bellew.
Cleverly received winning scores of 117-112 and 116-113 from two judges and the other scored it 114-114.
The Welshman improved to 23-0.
''I knew he would be dangerous in the first three rounds, but in all honesty I thought he'd tire more,'' Cleverly told Box Nation TV. ''But he held in there and showed he is a brilliant challenger. He's very fit.''
Bellew (16-1) was warned early on by referee Richie Davies after appearing to aim a headbutt at Cleverly.
Bellew was winded by a low blow in the fifth round for which he was given time to recover by the referee, but no point was taken from Cleverly who continued to enjoy more success with his work up close.
Cleverly reasserted his control in a busy sixth round, clipping home a series of uppercuts before landing a looping left hook which appeared to tempora...