• Cruiserweight

Cleverly: I'll give Bellew a rematch

ESPN staff
March 27, 2014
Nathan Cleverly moved up to cruiserweight after losing his WBO light-heavyweight title to Sergey Kovalev last August © PA Photos

Nathan Cleverly believes a rematch with British rival Tony Bellew is "inevitable" following the pair's respective decisions to move up to cruiserweight.

The pair fought at light-heavyweight in 2011 when Cleverly successfully defended his WBO title with a points victory in Bellew's hometown of Liverpool.

Both have since made the step-up to cruiserweight after suffering world title defeats at light-heavyweight; 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.

Bellew recently unleashed a verbal attack claiming Cleverly was the only man he "truly despises" in boxing and the Welshman indicated he is now prepared to give his rival a rematch.

"I think it's inevitable. We're both on a collision course, we're now in the same weight division," Cleverly told Sky Sports.

"We've already had one great fight, which was an entertaining, crowd pleasing fight, so I think the fight fans want to see it. Bellew wants the fight, I want the rematch as well. Even though I won the first fight, I'm prepared to give him a rematch. I'm sure we'll get it on."

Cleverly is now set to make his cruiserweight debut on May 17 after he became the latest fighter to join Eddie Hearn's Matchroom stable.

The 27-year-old will co-headline the card at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena, with Lee Selby also set to feature.

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