Bellew eyes path to glory
Tony Bellew is prepared to take a path to the top that does not involve Nathan Cleverly.
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The only blemish on the Liverpool man's 19-fight record is last October's gutsy points defeat to the WBO light heavyweight champion, but a rematch does not seem to be on the horizon for the bitter domestic rivals.
Cleverly last weekend defended his crown against the little-known American Shawn Hawk, while Bellew takes on Argentina's Roberto Bolonti as chief support to Carl Froch in Nottingham on Saturday.
Bolonti is ranked above Bellew in every organisation and is regarded to present a sterner test than Hawk did for Cleverly - with Bellew himself claiming to have turned Hawk down.
The 29-year-old no longer wants to get caught up on Cleverly, though, and is planning to win a title without fighting him again.
"I don't even pay him (Cleverly) any attention, I think it's a joke," Bellew said.
"The guy he fought last time, I actually rejected him. Shaun Hawk's name was on the list and I knocked him back and took the highest-ranked opponent (Edison Miranda).
"I don't need him to progress in my career and I'm not going to even give him a word, it's just a joke."
It is just a little over two months since Bellew's last ring appearance when he knocked out Miranda at Alexandra Palace.
Up-and-coming fighters often turn out on bill after bill, but it is more unusual in the higher echelons of the sport.
Bellew, though, is happy to put in the miles if it gets him to where he wants to be.
"I'm ready, I can't wait for the action to start and for the bell to go," he said.
"It's been a good 10-week camp, I've come straight off the back of the last fight and I'm looking forward to getting back in the ring and doing the business.
"It's a pleasure, being an active fighter is being a good one and thanks to everyone involved with me, my trainers, promoters, TV companies, I'm busy.
"That's all I've ever wanted, to be a busy fighter and earn an honest living and that's what I'm doing. I'm fit, healthy and here to do a job."
Bolonti comes to England with a 30-1 record that has been accrued entirely in Argentina.
"He ranks above me in every single organisation. He's WBC number five, above me in the IBF and WBA and I've got to get in there and prove the ranking wrong and take his away from him," Bellew said.
"He comes here with a very high ranking, but he isn't going to leave with it."