By Phil D. Jay
According to the word going around, Nathan Cleverly’s second defense of the WBO light heavyweight title is to be formally announced on Tuesday in London with British and Commonwealth titleholder Tony Bellew to be confirmed as his opponent in a huge domestic world title bout.
The 24-year-old, who stopped Aleksy Kuziemski in his first defense of the title in May, almost met the Liverpudlian instead of the Pole only for the ‘Bomber’ to fail the pre-fight weigh-in leading to the 34 year-old being drafted in as a late replacement.
The two rivals are now set to go toe-to-toe on October 15th in an eagerly-anticipated British battle after almost coming to blows at the hastily arranged press conference in the spring and both fighters are keen to settle their differences.
The contest is set to take place in Bellew’s hometown of Liverpool at the 8,000 capacity Echo Arena where Cleverly has fought once before when he out-pointed Nadjib Mohammedi in a laboured performance and Bellew, 28, has fought four out his last six bouts and feels most at home.
There is heavy speculation that promoter Frank Warren could turn this date into one of his big events - stacked with big names.
The undercard could feature some, but not all, of the following possibilities - James DeGale’s European title challenge against champion Piotr Wilczewski, super middleweight George Groves making his debut under Warren, and Enzo Maccarinelli’s first fight at light-heavyweight. The card could see also Echo Arena regulars Frankie Gavin and Joe Selkirk on the bill.