By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
WORLD title challenger Tony Bellew is convinced that the bookmakers have got it wrong for once.
Bellew is aiming to relieve Nathan Cleverly of his WBO world light- heavyweight title at Liverpool’s Echo Arena tonight.
But the Scouser is a massive underdog at odds of 7-2, while Welshman Cleverly is a short 1-5 on chance to win this grudge match.
Bellew said: “Every once in a blue moon the bookies drop a b*****k – and this is the biggest one they have dropped in a long time.”
There is no love lost between the two unbeaten fighters, who almost fought in May when Bellew was a last-minute replacement for German Juergen Braehmer.
They clashed at a heated press conference and had to be separated by security staff, but Bellew then missed the fight after failing to make the weight. Bellew, 28, is undefeated in 16 fights with nine KOs.
He won the British title in his last fight against Ovill McKenzie to add to his Commonwealth title.
Cleverly, 24, has a 22-fight unbeaten record with 10 knockouts and formerly held the British and Com- monwealth light-heavyweight titles.
Bellew added: “I will go through brick walls or whatever it takes to win this fight. I am willing to die.
“The bottom line is that I want to smash his face in and he wants to smash my face in. This is real and we’re both going in there to win.”
Not surprising, Cleverly begs to differ, saying: “I have got a title that I never want to let go of, so there is obviously going to be a rivalry.
“It is great to have this intensity around the fight. Having 10,000 Scousers against me is not a verything else is a nonentity.
“It won’t be an issue because I will be in the zone and focusing on defending my title successfully.”
The reward for the winner could be a huge fight against Bernard Hop- kins, 46, who defends his WBC world title against Chad Dawson tonight.
PREDICTION: The fight is much closer than the bookies make it and I am taking Bellew to spring a surprise inside the distance.