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Page last updated at 08:36 GMT, Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Tony Bellew warming to Nathan Cleverly chase

Tony Bellew
Vociferous Bellew is talking up a battle of Britain with Cleverly

Liverpool light-heavyweight Tony Bellew has stepped up his pursuit of Welshman Nathan Cleverly after winning the Commonwealth belt last Friday.

"When I get Cleverly in the ring I'm going to annihilate him," said the 27-year-old Bellew, known as 'Bomber'.

"He's not going to be the same after I've finished with him."

Unbeaten British and European champion Cleverly, 23, is seen as one of the hottest prospects in boxing and is looking to move into world class.

That is expected to happen sometime towards the end of the year, after the Cefn Fforest man completes his maths degree at Cardiff University.


The Welshman's fifth-round stoppage of Antonio Brancalion for the European belt last month was his 19th successive victory.

His five-year career has really taken off in the last 18 months with seven successes, six of them by knockout.

Bellew, a former three-time ABA champion at heavyweight, turned professional in 2007 and has won all 13 of his fights, nine by knockout.

Nathan Cleverly punishes Antonio Brancalion in their European light-heavyweight fight
Cleverly is looking for the next step up after claiming European glory

He outclassed Ghanaian Atoli Moore with a first-round stoppage on Friday to claim the Commonwealth belt, after which he was hailed by former world champion John Conteh.

But Bellew is not shy of proclaiming his own virtues, and has his eyes set on hyping an exciting battle of Britain with Cleverly.

"I've got Cleverly's old [Commonwealth] title, but I'll happily take the two he's got at the moment as well," said Bellew.

"He keeps saying I've fought bums - I've fought the same bums as him.

"I fought Nick Okoth [who went the eight-round distance with Cleverly in 2007] and smashed him to pieces in three rounds.

"Just ask these guys in the trade. I've just had a guy who sparred with Nathan Cleverly and he came and sparred with me and said he's never been hit like that in his life.

"You just ask these guys. They work with me and they get hammered. Anyone from the top 10 in Britain I'll fight and that includes Nathan Cleverly."

see also
Cleverly needs the Road Warrior
15 Feb 10 |  Boxing
Cleverly secures European title
13 Feb 10 |  Boxing
Calzaghe split boosted Cleverly
15 Feb 10 |  Boxing
Is Cleverly the new Calzaghe?
22 Jul 09 |  Boxing
Wales' sporting weekend in photos
11 Feb 10 |  Wales
Wales' boxing world champions
25 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Wales' pugilist princes
15 May 09 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing history in photos
24 May 09 |  Boxing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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