by Shaun Brown

Nathan Cleverly’s former rival Tony Bellew has wished the Welshman good luck ahead of his fight against Badou Jack on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Cleverly, fighting in America for the fourth time in his career, will defend his WBA World light-heavyweight title for the first time against the former WBC World super-middleweight champion as part of the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor card to be broadcast on Showtime and Sky Sports Box Office.

Bellew who challenged Cleverly for his WBO 175lbs title in October 2011, 2014 told “Listen, good luck to him and I hope he does it.”

“Cleverly is not a hurtful puncher, he never has been. But he’s got a fantastic engine, a fantastic work-rate, and is somebody who can grind out a win.

“Cleverly has got that championship experience and is a high-level fighter. He cannot be underestimated, he’s the champion.”

Bellew and Cleverly embarked on a bitter journey which saw both men engage in 24 rounds of action between their world title fight six years ago and their pay-per-view rematch, at cruiserweight, in 2014.

The pair have never been shy about their dislike for one another with verbal confrontations, either face to face or online a large part of their long running feud with one another.

Bellew, however, did remind everyone about the title that Cleverly is carrying into the fight. “Listen, I say the word ‘champion’ loosely. That isn’t a belt that he’s carrying, it’s a pretend version of one, but forget about what’s at stake, he’s a good fighter, especially at light-heavyweight.”

Andre Ward is the current WBA Undisputed champion at 175lbs having beat Sergey Kovalev in their rematch earlier this year.