• Light-heavyweight

Cleverly now open to Bellew rematch

ESPN staff
May 3, 2012
Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew have already fought once © PA Photos

WBO light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly has admitted he plans to give British champion Tony Bellew a rematch in the near future.

Bellew bounced back after a controversial points defeat to Cleverly last year with an emphatic beating of Danny McIntosh last month - increasing the clamour for the two British boxers to step inside the ring once again.

Cleverly has previously been resistant to calls for him to grant the Liverpool fighter a rematch, but admits it could now be a real possibility.

"He [Bellew] looked impressive and that's an option," Cleverly told the BBC."It's not ideal. If he had a world title belt then that would help, we could have an unification fight.

"It's a fight I want anyway, because I want to put the record straight. I think the last fight was a good fight and I think a second one would be as well."

The Welshman would prefer to fight one of the division's other world champions, with Chad Dawson - who beat Bernard Hopkins last weekend - at the top of his list. However, he may have to set his sights slightly lower if he is to get a chance to unify a pair of titles in the near future.

"The division is wide open really, we've got four world champions now - myself, Chad Dawson, Tavoris Cloud and Beibut Shumenov," he added. "I think it [Bellew] is a fight that will happen in the future, but for the meantime we'll probably be looking at the WBA champion Beibut Shumenov.

"I think that fight can be made and we'll take it from there."

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