Both men in action this weekend in Liverpool and hope to remain on ‘Collision Course’.
Tony Bellew has insisted that he will go out to end Nathan Cleverly’s career if they remain on course to set up a rematch later this year.
The bitter rivalry between the two has continued after their initial bout back in 2011, and they both feature at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Saturday with the intention of setting up a rematch in the coming months having both moved up to the cruiserweight division.
Cleverly claimed victory in their first fight after agreeing to fight in Liverpool, and while the pair initially appeared to have put their differences behind them, it is clear that they still harbour bad feelings toward one another.
Both fighters are likely to be fast-tracked towards a title shot, but ultimately their paths with cross before they reach that stage and Bellew insists that it is more personal than just fighting any other opponent for the biggest prize of them all.
Bellew told The Liverpool Echo: “Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to him (Cleverly) it will be different because I despise him.”
“I will never forget what he said after our first fight. He said it was easy and that he’d fought me with two broken ribs.
“So when we have the rematch I am going to retire him and finish his career. He will never fight again.”
Cleverly faces Alejandro Emilio Valori on Saturday night while Bellew takes on Julio Cesar Dos Santos, and the Merseysider insists that he isn’t looking beyond his next opponent even though the ill-feeling towards Cleverly is difficult to control.
In addition, Bellew believes that he will be able to control his emotions when it comes to addressing the Welshman, and insists that the time was not right for him to lose his temper during the press conference for this card.
However, if provoked, the 31-year-old claims that he will respond but he genuinely believes that he intimidates Cleverly and so there will not be a problem between the two until fight night which is expected to be scheduled for later this year provided that they come through their next tests unscathed.