Nathan Cleverly has hinted he could retire from boxing following his first career loss to Sergey Kovalev on Saturday night.

The Welshman relinquished his WBO light heavyweight title to the Russian at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff as he desperately struggled to match the raw power of his opponent, suffering a fourth round knockout in his fifth title defence.

A first loss in his hometown has rocked the 26-year-old, who had grand plans involving potential fights with American Bernard Hopkins and Carl Froch high on his agenda in 2013 and beyond.

But after being unequivocally beaten by Kovalev, Cleverly admits he is unsure if he will remain in the light heavyweight division or even continue in the sport at all.

"I've had two fights in a row now and I haven't really had a break and bounced straight back into this one - and it's been a long training camp," Cleverly told Boxing News.

"So it's just time to have a normal life for a bit, maybe just have a couple of months just resting and enjoying myself and leaving it to my inclinations to guide me, really."

"See what my desire is, if I want to continue. Am I going to stay at light-heavy? Will I continue boxing? Do I want to find something else to do in my life? It's a matter of having a break and letting my inclinations guide me."

Cleverly was twice floored by Kovalev in the third as the Russian repeatedly landed heavy blows as the Welshman offered very little in return before referee Terry O'Connor brought the contest to an end in the fourth.

The 26-year-old's promoter Frank Warren was reluctant to be drawn on the subject of a rematch, announcing that there is no rematch clause on the table but refused to rule out the possibility of one taking place somewhere down the line.

Similarly, Cleverly has no plans to renter the ring in the immediate future, and may choose to walk away from boxing altogether.

"What's my gut instinct now? Just live a bit. Live a bit for a couple of months with friends, with family, have a few drinks, have a bit of junk food, have a few nights out, go on holiday.

"You know, your instinct will guide you. I've always said as soon as I lose in boxing I will get out of the sport. Do I stick by that? Who knows? We'll see."