• Tony Bellew v Edison Miranda

Bellew still fuming at Cleverly rejection

ESPN staff
September 8, 2012
Tony Bellew is keen to progress his career © PA Photos

Liverpool light heavyweight Tony Bellew has once again hit out at Nathan Cleverly - claiming the WBO champion never offered him a rematch despite claiming to be keen.

Bellew is due to fight Brazilian Edison Miranda at Alexandra Palace on Saturday - a fight he says he only took after Cleverly declined the opportunity to face him once again. The pair met in an ill-tempered fight in October of last year, with the 29-year-old on the wrong end of a controversial majority decision.

Bellew has now claimed that he went to Cleverly's promoter, Frank Warren, in person to beg for a second fight - but was told it was too dangerous for the Welsh title holder.

"I physically went to Frank Warren's office and begged for the opportunity and was told 'no'," Bellew revealed. "I'm maximum risk, zero gain.

"But I don't need Cleverly to make my career. He's world champion but I'm fighting Edison Miranda while he fights guys like Tommy Karpency and [next opponent] Vyacheslav Uzelkov."

Bellew was a late replacement for Cleverly during their first meeting, with the Liverpudlian courting controversy for heated pre-fight meetings with Cleverly where he threatened to fight him "there and then".

Bellew believes those antics have given him an unfair reputation, insisting he is serious about his boxing career and wants to earn his fights through his performances - not his trash talk.

"When people turn up at press conferences they're waiting for me to go and throw a table or attack someone," he said. "Everyone wants me to go crazy, but it happened once and it happened because I lost 16lbs in 16 hours and then I had a man say he's going to take me into the car park.

"It was disgusting and I shouldn't have done it, but when someone offers you a large sum of money and says 'make a weight', I'll do everything to make it because I'm a young lad with a family to provide for."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.