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Bellew and Cleverly are ready for their grudge match
By Andrew Scott Saturday, 22 November 2014 04:43
Tony Bellew and Nathan Cleverly insulted each other for the last time after they made weight for their eagerly anticipated rematch, which will see two very bitter rivals face each other in what internet bookmakers believe will a brutal clash.
These fighters did not get along very well at all on the stage when they met again, but eventually they were separated before their clash on Saturday.
In Liverpool, Cleverly was booed as he walked up to the stage, while Bellew was cheered, as he was in his hometown.
Weighing in at 14st and 3lbs, Bellew was only a pound under limit of the cruiserweights, and this was also matched by Cleverly.
The Merseysider was happy to get over the final formality before the showdown, and believes that at the Echo Arena he will have his words backed up with the sound of the first bell.
“Tomorrow the talking stops. It’s real now, 36 hours until detonation, simple as that,” said the fighter. “I’m excited. If I had my way, we would have stopped the talking after the very first press conference.”
When he was asked about what could happen in the fight, Bellew said: “If he absorbs the first serious shots landed, this could be one of the best fights of the year because I’m not giving up no ground.
“I’m the true cruiserweight here. I’ll be totally honest, I don’t see how he can absorb what I’m going to hit him with, but let’s just say he does, because I’ve prepared as if he’s going to.
“I’ve prepared for war of the highest order, so if he takes what I’ve got this is going to be an amazing night. If he doesn’t, then it’s going to be a short, sharp fight.”
Bellew wants revenge after he was beaten by Cleverly in 2011 on points, and pay per head services saw that the prediction made by the fighter was very unnerving.
“A painful, brutal night for him. The end of his career comes tomorrow night,” he said.
The Welshman acknowledges that this fight will be a defining point in his career in the sport, and the one who wins the bout is set to face Marco Huck, WBO champion.
“I feel good at this weight, making this weight wasn’t much of a problem,” he said. “I feel strong at the weight, I feel hydrated at this weight so I feel good.
“It’s the biggest fight of my life. It’s a lot on the line. This crowd – look at this atmosphere for this fight – it’s a big grudge match.”
“It’s going to be massive for me. When I win this fight, personally it’s going to be massive for me, and I want to push on and push for bigger honours.
“Tony is a real cruiserweight. How can I perform against a real, big proper cruiserweight, a big puncher? This is the acid test. Get through this and we’re going to strike for world honours.”