• Cruiserweight

Bellew would relish rematch with 'fraud' Cleverly

ESPN staff
February 5, 2014
Nathan Cleverly defeated Tony Bellew at light-heavyweight level but the pair could now clash at cruiserweight © PA Photos

Tony Bellew would relish the chance to fight Nathan Cleverly at a higher weight level, indicating Cleverly is the only person in boxing he "truly despises."

Both Bellew and Cleverly have recently made the step-up to cruiserweight after suffering world title losses at light-heavyweight level; Bellew was knocked out by Adonis Stevenson in their WBC title fight in November while Cleverly lost his WBO belt to Sergey Kovalev in August.

The pair met in the ring at Liverpool's Echo Arena in 2011 with Cleverly successfully defending the WBO belt thanks to a majority decision win.

Bellew admitted he would be happy to fight his rival again at cruiserweight and indicated he would love to give Cleverly "a good hiding" in front of a Liverpool crowd once more.

"I know my promoter Eddie Hearn is keen on getting me in against this other clown [Cleverly] and wants to make it happen. I'll do it," Bellew said.

"He's the only person in boxing I truly despise. I don't like Adonis Stevenson as a person but he's a great fighter whereas I just despise the other fella on every level. I detest him. The way he looks at me, looking down his nose, thinking he's something he's not.

"He's a fraud. He doesn't even want to be a boxer. If I have to go through him to get a world title fight then so be it. I'm happy to do it.

"I basically had to beg for the rematch after the first fight and was told 'no'. Everyone knows how much I wanted it - and how much he didn't want it.

"Now he has nowhere to go. He sells about 10 tickets in his hometown while in Liverpool we can sell 10,000. I believe he needs me now and I don't need him. But with my attitude towards him, I'd love nothing more than to give him a good hiding."

Cleverly has had his cruiserweight debut postponed three times, while Bellew is set to face Valery Brudov in a first fight at the his level on March 15.

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