Boxing

Nathan Cleverly, Tony Bellew “Agree” To October 15th Clash; Fight “On The Verge Of Being Signed”

By James Slater: The last time they came face-to-face, rival light-heavyweights Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew almost came to blows; the services of the security men on hand being needed. That was back in May, when the two were seemingly matched together after Cleverly’s original opponent, Juergen Brahmaer withdrew from the WBO 175-pound title clash with the unbeaten Welshman.

As fans know, though, Bellew, also unbeaten, was unable to make weight in time and the fight had to be put on hold - - until now. According to an exclusive in The Liverpool Echo, the grudge-fight is now on the verge of being signed, with both men agreeing to the fight. The date pencilled in is October 15th, the venue The Echo Arena in Liverpool. All that has to be ironed out now are a few small details, but the fight looks on enough for Bellew, the British and Commonwealth champion, to have pulled out of a planned defence against Paul David; this fight originally set for September 17th.

A potential domestic classic, between two emerging stars who seem to have a genuine dislike of each other (especially in ”Bomber” Bellew’s case), Cleverly Vs. Bellew is sure to pack ’em in.

24-year-old Cleverly, 22-0(11) is the more accomplished boxer to date, having already won the WBO crown. The maths graduate is also a former British/Commonwealth and European ruler. And, in seeing off the world class Karo Murat, “Clev” has beaten better opposition than has 28-year-old Bellew, 16-0(10). However, what he may lack in pro experience, Bellew may overcome with sheer desire and hunger for this particular fight. In short, Bellew has absolutely craved a fight with Cleverly for a long time now; his desire to lay hurt on the Welshman only made that much stronger due to that testy press conference the two men engaged in a few months back.

Bellew is utterly convinced he has the beating of Cleverly, while at the same time, Cleverly feels Bellew is not in his class. Both men (ranked at #1 and #2 respectively by Boxrec.com) can bang and both can use their brain and box in a mature fashion. As much needle as there is in this fight, though, and as much disdain he has for Cleverly, there doesn’t figure to be too much boxing in this one - not from the Liverpool warrior anyway.

But if Bellew does come out all guns blazing, his desire to knock out Cleverly burning deep inside his every fibre, will this lead to his own downfall? To me, unless Bellew can calm it down and keep his head come fight night, the more polished, more composed fighter will win - and that man looks to be Cleverly. But whoever wins, this one looks sure to be great entertainment. Can you imagine the pre-fight stare-downs alone!?

Article posted on 25.08.2011



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