By Terence Dooley
Nathan Cleverly will defend his WBO light-heavyweight title against Tony Bellew at Liverpool’s ECHO Arena on October 15th in a fight that promoter Frank Warren believes will propel the winner into a showdown with Bernard Hopkins should ‘B-Hop’ turn back the challenge of Chad Dawson on the same night.
Cleverly, 22-0 (11), shrugged off Bellew’s hometown advantage when announcing the clash earlier today, the 24-year-old Welshman believes that his class will prevail come fight night and that the atmosphere will fire him up ahead of his maiden title defence.
Bellew puts his own perfect, 16-0 (10), record on the line, the Liverpudlian has called long and hard for the contest since their mooted May 21st bout fell apart due to Tony being unable to make the weight after a short notice call came through when Juergen Braehmer withdrew from his title defence. The 28-year-old British and Commonwealth titlist feels that his opponent is overrated and has stated that the WBO belt will be his property when the dust settles on this contest.
Hopkins is the consensus champion and a long-term aim for both boxers, with promoter Frank Warren convinced that he can match the winner against Bernard should the 46-year-old successfully defend his WBC crown.
“This is a tough fight for both of them but there is something there for them afterwards. It is a big opportunity to go and do the business. This is a lively division and it is going to get livelier. When I asked Nathan about this fight, he said it was a fight he wanted to get it out of the way. It has been hanging around, a lot of things have been said and to prove to the point he said he would go into the other guy's back garden to show he can do it,” stated Warren when confirming the contest.
“Obviously Tony has other ideas about that. He fancies his chances and is the British and Commonwealth champion following in the footsteps of Nathan. We have got a big fight that is going be on and one that I am certainly looking forward to. I think there is going to be a lot of fireworks building up the fight and certainly on the night.”
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