Former light heavyweight titleholder Nathan Cleverly says he can’t wait for his cruiserweight rematch in November against English countryman Tony Bellew, who countered, “I want this more than any fight in the world.”
“I’m so pleased to get this over the line and deliver another huge domestic grudge match for British boxing,” said promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport. The match-up will be hosted at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England, Bellew’s hometown, likely on Nov. 22 or Nov. 29.
“This fight has everything – quality, controversy and a genuine rivalry that will lead to a fascinating build-up and a wonderful night at the Echo Arena. Fans can expect a big undercard and a very interesting press conference in Liverpool next Wednesday as we get this show on the road.”
Bellew (22-2-1, 14 knockouts) is 6-1-1 with four knockouts since losing by majority decision to then-WBO titleholder Cleverly (28-1, 14 KOs) in October 2011 at Echo Arena. But since becoming a cruiserweight, Bellew has scored knockouts over Valery Brudov in the 12th round in March, and Julio Cesar Dos Santos in fifth round in July.
Bellew, 31, last suffered defeat by sixth round stoppage to RING and WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson last November.
“I want this more than any fight in the world. I’ve dreamt about this moment, about putting this right, about ending [Cleverly]. His face will be in my mind every day in camp, every night,” said Bellew. “I can’t explain how badly I want to knock him out and that’s exactly how it will end in November. For the people of Liverpool, expect a great occasion, an epic build-up and an emotional fight.”
Since rising to the 200-pound division, Cleverly, 27, has registered knockout victories over Shawn Corbin in the second round and Alejandro Emilio Valori in the fourth in May and July, respectively. The triumphs facilitated Cleverly’s resurgence after having been dethroned as WBO light heavyweight titleholder via fourth round stoppage loss to Sergey Kovalev in Aug. 2013.
“I cannot wait for this. I beat him in front of his people before and this time, I’m going to knock him out in front of his people. There will be no final bell in this fight. It’s going to be brutal,” said Cleverly. “Expect fireworks from the build-up, the press conferences, the weigh-in and the fight but also expect the same result – a Nathan Cleverly victory – and then I will become a two-weight world champion.”
Note: Quotes from a release by Matchroom Sport