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Cleverly Admits: I've Only Watched One Bellew Fight

Nathan Cleverly admits he has not been concentrating on opponent Tony Bellew ahead of Saturday's WBO light-heavyweight title defense.

Cleverly is not among those who study opponents prior to big fights and it has been a similar story this time around.

Bellew, the British and Commonwealth champion, is a dangerous foe but Cleverly insists he will be focused on his own performance at the Liverpool Echo Arena on Saturday night.

"I just go on my instincts and hit whatever target I see," Cleverly said. "That is what I'm trained to do - I don't think too much or plan my punches.

"I swear, in preparation for this fight, I have watched Tony once and that's all. I've seen what I've had to see and I will just go in and do my thing.

"I watched a bit of the Ovill McKenzie fight (Bellew's last bout), but that is all I've watched - and only a couple of rounds of that, not the whole fight.

"I will go in there and do what I do, and I know that is going to be enough."

Bellew has called out Cleverly for some time and with the pair almost coming to blows at previous press conferences, there is bad blood between them.

But Cleverly will be pleased to hear that first bell that means all the pre-fight talk will count for nothing.

"I'm so glad to be up here, because I'm just busting to get on with business," added the 24-year-old. "I just can't wait for Saturday night - I'm really looking forward to getting all of the hype out of the way and just fighting.

"I'm just leaving him to talk, because that is all it is - just talk. Regardless of what is said now, that is why I'm just keeping quiet and you will see what happens on fight night. All this talk will mean nothing.

"It's not mind games, because it is not going to work - it's all rubbish and it doesn't mean anything.

"We've seen it so many times in press conferences, people trying to say things to manipulate people's minds, trying to get fans on their side, but it doesn't work."

Bellew said that while he has respect for some of Cleverly's boxing skills, he holds a personal dislike for him.

"Hate is too strong a word - I don't hate anybody, because I don't waste my energy and time hating people," Bellew said. "But do I dislike him? Yes. He is smug and it winds me up when I look at him.

"He looks down his nose like he is better than me. But he is no better than me, or any taxi driver, or bartender or anybody else.

"I'm just a normal guy as well - the only difference with me is that I am good at punching people in the face."

The undercard sees the return of James DeGale, who takes on Piotr Wilczewski for the European super-middleweight title, while promising youngsters Billy Joe Saunders and Craig Evans also look to take another step up their career ladders.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Box Up! on 10-14-2011

This is good fight. Nathan just needs to keep cool and box. If he scraps with Bellew he could be in danger, and believe me, Bellew can bang. I expect Nathan to do his job, not react to the crowds…

Comment by tripper on 10-14-2011

yeah i agree, he was also in the studio for sky sports when bellew fought bob ajisafe last year. Almost every boxer defending a title will have watched footage of their opponents. It doesnt make sense not too

Comment by War-Robbo on 10-14-2011

I am a big Cleverly fan but he is lying here and Bellew called his bluff in the presser, Nathan said he saw the first Mckenzie fight and that was it, but he was ringside for the Bellew Mckenzie rematch!!…

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