Harry Pratt

Bellew calls out Cleverly

Commonwealth and British light heavyweight champion Tony Bellew has called out WBO titleholder Nathan Cleverly, demanding a showdown with his Welsh rival in September.

“I'm sure the fight will happen," Bellew, 28, said after securing a solid if unspectacular points decision against Ovill McKenzie in Merseyside on Saturday.

"Let's do it in September and let's do it with Cleverly — that's what I'm saying. But Frank Warren calls the shots as he's my manager and promoter.”

The pair nearly met in May but Liverpool prospect Bellew, a late replacement for Cleverly’s first title defense, was unable to make the weight in time.

However, they did hold an explosive pre-fight press conference before the cancelled bout, which indicated there is no love lost between the two. At one point, the squabbling Brits had to be separated by security.

“I can’t stand him, and he can't stand me,” said Bellew (16-0, 10 knockouts). “He takes it personally. I annoy him, I make him angry and he's going to pay for that anger when I fight him.

"He'll still confident and he's unbeaten just like me. He believes no one can beat him. I believe if I stick to a game plan, I can beat anybody.”

Cleverly (22-0, 11 KOs) picked up the WBO belt in May after German champion Jeurgen Braehmer pulled out of their clash because of an injury and was stripped of the title.

The 24-year-old from Cefn Forest, Wales, eventually fought Alexsy Kuziemski at the London O2 Arena, stopping the Pole in the fourth round.

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