Cleverly: Expect Bellew repeat
Nathan Cleverly has vowed to inflict another defeat on bitter rival Tony Bellew, but first he must get past Alejandro Valori on Saturday night.
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The Welshman will travel to Bellew’s backyard for his cruiserweight clash with the Argentine at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
Cleverly claimed a hard-fought points win over the Merseysider in their previous meeting in 2011 and believes a repeat triumph would land him a shot at one of the division’s world champions.
“I believe at the end of this year, or probably at the start of 2015, I will be in line for a shot at the world title,” said Cleverly.
“I want to get this job done on Alejandro Valori and then first and foremost it is important I win that fight in good fashion. Then we will look for that big domestic grudge match between myself and Bellew and when I bash him up we will be looking for the world title fight then.
“I think it is realistic that my next fight after Valori will be Bellew. It is a big fight and maybe it should happen sooner rather than later - strike while the iron is hot.
"We are both fresh at the weight and if all goes well after Saturday we will both be coming off two wins in the weight division. It would be the type of fight where the winner goes on to fight for the world title.”
Bellew appears on the same bill, battling Julio Cesar Dos Santos, and is still frustrated by Cleverly’s majority decision win, with one judge scoring their fight a draw.
But the Cefn Forest man insists he won clearly and vowed to end any argument in the return bout.
“My verdict on the first fight was that I was 24 years of age, I went into his hometown, defending my world title and I successfully did that,” said Cleverly.
“There is no question in my mind, I certainly won the fight and the verdict was there, that was the final result. But he feels bitter at the loss, he wants his revenge, but ultimately I want the rematch because I want to not just win the rematch but I want to win emphatically, and I feel I will do that in the next fight.
“I think the new weight will suit both of us better. I feel we will be stronger, have more energy, more power, so I think the fight will be a replica of the first fight but a lot more explosive with the added weight.”
The undercard also features super-middleweights Rocky Fielding and Callum Smith, who attempt to extend their unbeaten records, while super-featherweight Stephen Smith stays busy with an eight-rounder ahead of an expected world title clash.
Heavyweight Anthony Joshua takes a step-up in class against former world title challenger Matt Skelton and fellow Team GB stars Luke Campbell and Anthony Ogogo are in action.