It’s been four months since the pair first squared off at the infamous press conference at London's O2 Arena and WBO World Light-Heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly now can't wait to finally get in the ring with Tony Bellew.
There has been plenty of tension between the two unbeaten boxers heading into the October 15th blockbuster at the Liverpool Echo Arena, but Cleverly is looking forward to finally stepping between the ropes.
“I’m looking forward to the fight right now,” he said. “A lot has been said, and there has been a lot of hype around the fight, but I’m glad all the press conferences are done now and I can concentrate on training.
“We can finally get on with business, this is where the real talking begins - with out fists. I’m raring to go, I’ve been training well, there’s not that long to go until the fight and we can finally see who’s number one once and for all.”
During the five-month build up to the showdown there has been a lot of bad blood between the duo, however Cleverly has some respect for his rival.
“It’s a challenge and I’m not taking it lightly,” Cleverly continued. “I have respect for my opponent, at the end of the day once you’re in that ring you’ve got to have respect for your opponent.
“He’ll be in there trying to win the fight as well and anything can happen. In training, if you haven’t got any respect for your opponent it is difficult to get motivated and you’ll end up taking that attitude into the fight.
“It’s important you respect all your opponents, regardless of their records, weather they are a big name or not, you’ve got to appear like a champion and I’m making sure I do that.”
With that being said Cleverly hasn’t seen much from his opponent that is giving him sleepless nights.
“Tony’s recent performances have been okay,” the 24-year-old commented. “He had an up and down fight with Ovill McKenzie and I think that showed his level really.
“Obviously he won quite comfortably in the rematch, he boxed okay, nothing special but it was bad either, it was a solid performance.
“He’s going to be a decent test for me but I can’t see it being anything greater than that.”
Cleverly is currently unbeaten in 22 fights and will be looking to make that 23. Should he win, comparisons will start to be drawn with unbeaten Welsh boxer Joe Calzaghe.
“It nice to be mentioned in the same way as Joe actually and in that type of company, and to be expected to emulated those kind of achievements is a bit of a boost for me.
“It shows people have expectations of me and they really expect me to go on and achieve big things. That in turn can give you great confidence and I do take confidence from that.
“In a way you really want to go out there and prove your supporters and fans right and not to let them down.”
Tickets, priced at £50, £100, £150 and £250, are available from:
Liverpool Echo Arena
Box Office: 0844 8000 400
Frank Warren Promotions
TYSON WANTS AN IRISH WEEKEND TO REMEMBER
Belfast - Tyson Fury says he can take the next step on his journey to World title success on Saturday and he wants a double celebration with the Ireland rugby team causing a shock against Australia at the World Cup in New Zealand.
The Irish rugby side conquered America last weekend and now British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Fury has his own USA mission when he takes on North American champion Nicolai Firtha from Akron Ohio at Belfast's King's Hall, just hours after Brian O'Driscoll and his men clash with World Cup rugby favourites Australia.
Fury has become the hottest young heavyweight in world boxing on the back of his sensational win over Dereck Chisora in July at Wembley Arena and now expects 6ft 6' Firtha to be a real test of his credentials as the future dominating force among the big men.
"I'll be cheering on the Irish rugby lads, they may be the underdogs but then everybody said that about me when I fought Chisora and now I'm the British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion. They can go and do it and that will inspire me to go and give the Irish boxing fans a treat by beating up Firtha," commented Fury.
"It's going to be a sporting weekend to remember for all Irish sports fans because you have the All Ireland GAA final on Sunday so it's going to be very special.
"Firtha's a big man with plenty of heart and skill so I know I have to be ready for a really hard fight but I want fights like this, I want to be tested because I want to go to the top as quickly as I can. I don't want to be fighting bums.
"This guy has been the distance with the WBA World heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin so if I do a number on him then it shows everybody again that I'm the real deal, that I'm the man to fear in the division."
The fight will be shown live in the UK on Channel 5
Tickets are on sale priced at £28.00, £50 and £100 from the Ticketmaster box office on 0844 277 4455 (24 hour). Tickets are also available in person from Ticketmaster outlets, and online from www.ticketmaster.ie .