The headhunting began from the opening bell and didn’t stop for 36 minutes. In between, two 175-pound warriors engaged in an epic battle of wills, the turning point coming in a seventh round that could only be described as savage.
That Andrzej Fonfara and Nathan Cleverly were able to get off their stools to start the seventh was somewhat of a miracle, considering to that point, both had thrown more punches—and absorbed more punishment—than you’d see in a one of those 15-round scraps from yesteryear.
For the favored Fonfara, the October 16 fight wasn’t exactly unfolding the way he had anticipated. In fact, despite treating Cleverly like a human punching bag, he entered the seventh trailing slightly on two scorecards and even on the third—largely because Cleverly was firing heavy artillery of his own.
Then midway through the round, Fonfara unleashed a 34-second, 42-punch assault for the ages. While not every shot landed clean, one—a right uppercut—hit the mark square. That mark was Cleverly’s nose, which shattered upon impact, turning his face into a bloody mess and turning the fight in Fonfara’s favor.
Undaunted, a grinning Cleverly gamely took the abuse, kept coming forward and kept firing back—something he would do for five more rounds. When the 12-round masterpiece finally ended, the two fighters had combined to make history, landing 936 of 2,524 punches—both CompuBox records for the 175-pound division.