Nathan Cleverly
Cleverly wins after injury forced his opponent to throw in the towel Getty

Nathan Cleverly has won the WBA world light-heavyweight championship after injury forced Juergen Braehmner to surrender the belt and withdraw from their fight.

Cleverly, 29, wins his second world title of an 11-year professional career despite appearing to be trailing on points to his German opponent. An elbow injury however forced the defending champion to retire early in Neubrandenburg, but he does have the option of exercising a rematch clause in the fight's contract.

Cleverly raced onto the front foot in the opening round, forcing his opponent to the ropes but Braehmner responded with some powerful combinations of his own. Having edged the opener, a clean uppercut from the Welshman looked to put him in control, but the champion unloaded two precise left hooks to force his opponent back.

Braehmner had now begun to find his range regularly with sharp lefts, but Cleverly's work rate ensured he kept coming back. The German looked to have secured a relatively tame sixth round but after a delayed start to the seventh, came across to the Welshman's corner to inform him and his camp he was no longer able to continue.

On the same night, New Zealand's Joseph Parker, the mandatory challenger for Anthony Joshua's IBF heavyweight title stopped Alexander Dimitrenko in three rounds. Parker knocked his opponent down four times but the bout ended in controversy when he appeared to strike Dimitrenko while the Russian was on one knee.

Parker is still hoping to take on Joshua at the Manchester Arena on 26 November but the possibility of a showdown between the undefeated Briton Wladmir Klitschko now looms large.