It has finally been announced that Tony ‘Bomber’ Bellew and Nathan Cleverly will face off in a highly anticipated rematch on November 22nd.
The two met back in October 2011 in a real grudge match between two boxers with a genuine dislike for each other. They appeared to earn mutual respect in the ring that night in what was a gruelling fight.
Cleverly came in as the WBO world champion and was the favourite to do the business but Bellew put up a great performance and pushed Cleverly all the way. It was a close fight in which many of the rounds could have been scored either way.
Cleverly was given the nod on a majority decision verdict and the two went their separate ways but have both ended up at cruiserweight having lost in world title fights.
Cleverly was dismantled by Sergey Kovalev in a defeat which for a while seemed to be the end of Cleverly’s boxing career. The Welshman contemplated retirement and pulled out of a couple of fight before signing with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport earlier this year.
Cleverly dispatched of Shawn Corbin and Alejandro Valori in relative ease whilst the build up to this fight was fuelled by promoter Hearn.
Bellew was already signed to Matchroom’s stable of fighters so it was only a matter of time before the two squared off again with clear animosity still present between the pair.
Bellew had been stopped by Adonis Stevenson in his search for a world title and was in the process of rebuilding at the new weight by knocking out Valery Brudov and Julio Cesar Dos Santos.
No hype needed
The fight will take place in Bellew’s home city of Liverpool at the Echo Arena and it is sure to be a sell out with boxing fans desperate to see both men battle it out again.
The build up to the fight should make for fascinating viewing as both are eloquent men who are very good at hyping up a fight. No hype is needed for this fight though as the rivalry and dislike is genuine.
Both men are considered nice guys but when you put them together something is bound to explode. The last fight was fantastic and hopes are high for a repeat performance.
Cleverly's thoughts on rematch
“I cannot wait for this,” he was quoted saying by Sky Sports. “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. 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.”
Bellew has spoken of his desire for the fight to take place when saying: “I want this more than any fight in the world.
“I've dreamt about this moment, about putting this right, about ending him.
"His face will be in my mind every day in camp, every night. 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.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn has also commented on the fight stating: "I’m so pleased to get this over the line and deliver another huge domestic grudge match for British boxing.
“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.”
This fight has all the ingredients to be a great domestic dust up and the fight being at cruiserweight adds an extra factor to be considered. Bellew appears the more natural at the weight and seems to have the power back in his shots.
Cleverly looks good at the weight but it would seem that the extra weight favours Tony Bellew and that could be a telling factor in the fight outcome.
Bellew versus Cleverly is going to be another good domestic duel.