Bellew confident that he will claim a stoppage win over rival…
Why Cleverly will beat Bellew: Clev confident that he can stop his opponent.
Cleverly vs Bellew 2: (Video) Welshman ready “smash down” rival.
Cleverly vs Bellew 2 head-to-head: (Video) Rivals in heated head-to-head exchange.
Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew will step in the ring to face each other for a second time to settle their feud in Liverpool on Saturday night, but which fighter will come out victorious?
There is no denying that Bellew simply hates Cleverly due to a number of reasons, but the biggest of all remains the Welshman’s denial of an immediate rematch in 2011 and his comments in the post-fight press conference.
Bellew insists that his rival conceded it was a close fight while both were still in the ring, yet he changed his analysis shortly after by suggesting it was an easy night’s work and that there would be no rematch.
Nevertheless, the rivalry stems further back than that and it came to a head at a press conference in London on the same show as the James DeGale-George Groves bout.
The dislike between the two was evident and after the first fight failed to settle their differences, now Bellew is adamant that he will finally get rid of his demons on Saturday night.
With both men making the step up to cruiserweight, Bellew is convinced that he is a different animal now that he doesn’t have to shed the pounds. The Merseysider has demonstrated his power in wins over Valery Brudov and Julio Cesar Dos Santos, and overall he has been more impressive out of the two fighters so far in the division.
Nevertheless, he will need to keep his emotions under control on Saturday and trainer David Coldwell will hope that he can stick to the gameplan in order to secure a victory. Bellew possesses more power out of the two, but Cleverly is quicker and his busy fighting style will put pressure on the home fighter who will have to deal with an accumulation of hard shots.
Bellew’s heart can’t be denied and he has insisted throughout the build-up that losing is not an option for him, and that in my opinion coupled with his power makes him the favourite for the bout.
The 31-year-old has a mental edge on his opponent despite people suggesting his temper will be his undoing, as ultimately Bellew needs to fight angry to get the best out of himself. However, his boxing skills are underrated and he has shown an ability to be able to adapt to different fighters, minus Adonis Stevenson.
He will have learned harsh lessons from the first fight and while he can expect a tough night again, he will be better prepared for it and more comfortable at the weight. Although Cleverly insists that “speed skills” and his attributes are more dangerous than Bellew’s ‘bombs’, if he gets caught with a shot then it could bring memories of Sergey Kovalev flooding back.
The Welshman contemplated retirement after his first professional loss, and Bellew believes that has broken him mentally. A number of answers will be provided on Saturday in what is a genuine 50/50 fight, but Bellew at cruiserweight will not be denied.
Prediction: If Bellew wins, stoppage between rounds 5-8.