Police were called out to today's heated head-to-head press conference between WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly and challenger Tony Bellew in Cardiff. Cleverly and Bellew meet in a big "Battle of Britain" at the Liverpool Echo Arena on Saturday 15th October, but it wasn't the boxers trading punches early!
Cleverly's father and trainer Vince got into a row with one of Bellew's entourage in the press conference room while the boxers were doing their one-on-one interviews. Vince was raging when he thought one of Bellew's team was making fun of him and had to be restrained from going over to him. At one point the volatile trainer was punching himself in the face while a shocked Nathan was speaking to TV crews. Calm was restored when a unit of police officers' arrived on the scene and spoke to both parties.
Nathan said, "I was a bit taken aback by what was happening and tried to keep focused on my interview," "I didn't see what happened to make my dad go off like that, but he's a passionate person and he probably got a bit over excited," "You'd expect this sort of stuff to happen at an American press conference with Floyd Mayweather dad or something, but not in Cardiff" "Bellew could cause trouble in an empty room, but he's got a whole lot of trouble with me on October 15th now."
Bellew said, "My team were behaving themselves, it seems to me that Cleverly's dad was trying to rattle us ahead of the fight," "I was doing interviews when a saw a load of coppers burst into the room and I thought it was a wind up at first as part of the publicity then I realised it was serious," "It was all sorted out calmly and I finished my interviews and we all drove back to Liverpool,"
"At the end of the day it's me and Nathan who are going to be fighting, he won't be able to call the police to help him out and this has just made me more determined to win that world title."
This will be the last time that Cleverly and Bellew will see each other again until the week of the fight. Last week Bellew provoked the unbeaten Welshman at press conference in Liverpool when he stuck his head into Cleverly's during the head-to-head photos. And in May the pair got into an explosive slanging match at a press conference in London when Bellew was going to step in to fight Cleverly when then WBO World Champion Juergen Braehmer failed to arrive.