Welshman Nathan Cleverly (25-0, 12) successfully retained his WBO Light Heavyweight title by stopping the thoroughly out-matched, but impressively game Shawn Hawk (23-3-1, 17) in the 8th round of a 1 sided bout.
The early rounds saw Cleverly setting an incredible pace as he really took the fight to the challenger. Whilst Cleverly was merely throwing arm punches, his speed and work-rate were incredible as he forced Hawk on to the back foot, and often against the ropes. Although Hawk did occasionally land a shot, often a hook to the body, he was simply not landing enough to force Cleverly off him. In fact if anything Cleverly seemed to merely get angrier when tagged and returned fire with impressive combinations.
In round 5 Cleverly changed tactics and rather than throwing flurry's of weak looking shots he started to box and move. The pace of the bout slowed dramatically but Cleverly's domination continued as he landed at will with spiteful looking shots to both head and body. When the bout changed to Cleverly boxing he looked a whole different class to Hawk who sadly looked lost.
With Cleverly now in a groove it looked like the Welshman was starting to throw everything with nasty intentions and in round 7 he twice dropped Hawk with nasty body shots. The first seemed to keep Hawk down for a 10 count though the referee allowed it to go on before Hawk was dropped again. Although the challenger got up from both knockdowns the round was really the start of the end with Hawk down again the following round before being stopped later in round 8.
Whilst Shawn Hawk showed he was brave he really wasn't in Cleverly's class, in fact he should never, ever have been allowed to fight for a world title. For Cleverly it was a case of doing what was needed. He scored and eye catching win, showed off what eh could do, and seems to have secured a date for his next bout, which will again be in the US.