• Light-heavyweight

Bellew blasts Cleverly for 'chump' fights

ESPN staff
November 13, 2012
Nathan Cleverly beat Tony Bellew on points when the pair fought in 2011 © PA Photos

Tony Bellew has derided Nathan Cleverly's win against Shawn Hawk in Los Angeles as "a joke" and challenged the Welshman to stop fighting "chumps" before he comes asking for a rematch.

Liverpudlian Bellew lost to the WBO light-heavyweight champion in a points decision in 2011, but is working his way into contention to fight WBC champion Chad Dawson, starting with his bout against Roberto Bolonti.

Appearing on the undercard for Carl Froch's IBF super-middleweight title defence against Yusaf Mack in Nottingham on Saturday night, Bellew has declared himself ready to face any of the division's champions - but is far from satisfied with Cleverly's claims to the title.

Asked about a possible rematch, Bellew said: "It's not going to materialise when you are fighting guys like Shawn Hawk.

"Let's be totally honest here: I was offered Shawn Hawk, he was No. 5 on the opponents we had for the fight and Roberto Bolonti was the highest possible ranked opponent I could have fought.

"It's a joke of a fight in my opinion and where are you going with fights like that? You are supposed to be a world champion.

"Fight someone who is going to make you a world class fighter because at the moment you are fighting chumps."

In contrast, Bellew believes a fight with a worthy champion like Dawson would cement his status as one of the top light-heavyweights.

"Chad Dawson is a good fighter, he really is," Bellew continued. "He does what he does well. I'm coming off the Edison Miranda win, he's coming off the Andre Ward loss, a comprehensive loss.

"I fear no-one at light-heavyweight and I'm confident I can do the job that Andre Ward done."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.