The WBO World Light-Heavyweight champion is fully focussed on overcoming challenger Bellew in front of the scouser’s home crowd at Liverpool’s Echo Arena, LIVE and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Platform Ch. 456).
Cleverly and Bellew were set to meet last May, the Wavertree fighter was a late replacement for Juergen Braehmer at the O2 event but was unable to make the weight in time. A fiery exchange at the press conference between the two made the fight inevitable.
Bellew out-boxed Ovill McKenzie in his last outing which set up the mouth-watering showdown, there have been a number of dramatic moments leading up to the fight including last month’s press conference in Cardiff when police were called to break it up.
Cleverly says he is preparing for the toughest fight of his career, “I am hoping for a comfortable victory but I am preparing for the fight of my life. It is not a foregone conclusion. I am focussing on going out there and putting on a very solid performance”
Bellew last fought in July when he scored a points victory over McKenzie which drew a very different approach from the ‘Bomber’, the 24-year-old has vowed to be ready for anything Bellew brings, “I don’t care whether he boxes or fights. I am not bothered. I will be ready for whatever. I have the ability to adapt to anything he throws at me.”
The unbeaten Welshman makes the second defence of his WBO belt having successfully negotiated the first with a fourth round knockout against Aleksy Kuziemski, after being declared the WBO world champion when Braehmer failed to arrive in England only three days before his clash with Cleverly.
Many see Cleverly as a clear favourite but he is not going into the grudge match with that mindset, “He is potentially the hardest opponent I have faced. I have fought some very good boxers though. He is hungry and he is preparing well. My mindset is that I am going in to a hard fight no matter how it looks on paper. We are two unbeaten British fighters in the same weight division and both hungry to win, but I’m going to show that I want it more.”
Cleverly is ready for the biggest fight of his career as he puts together the final touches back in his hometown of Ceffn Fforest after a successful training camp, “Training has gone well, I went down to London for a couple of weeks and did some good quality sparring. I am now back home up until next Saturday.”
The all-British dust-up will be the biggest fight to date on new boxing channel BoxNation and Cleverly is excited for the future of the UK’s first dedicated fight channel, “I am very excited to be fighting on BoxNation. It was a fantastic debut there were some small fights but they turned out to be classics. I enjoyed it not just because I am a boxer but as a fan. It has a bright future and there is more to come I am pleased to have the opportunity to be a part of it.”
Pride, unbeaten records, a world title and a potential fight against the legendary Bernard Hopkins, who’s title defence against Chad Dawson will be televised live on BoxNation after Cleverly-Bellew, are all at stake in the unmissable contest.
If the build-up is anything to go, it should be another explosive fight on BoxNation.