Cleverly 'intimidated by me', argues Tony Bellew

Someone who is going places in a hurry is Wales’ newly-crowned WBO light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly. After a torrid 24 hours in which he was lined-up to face three different opponents, the Cefn Fforest star (22-0) could be forgiven for a tepid showing against last-minute replacement Aleksy Kuziemski.

The 24-year-old (pictured) broke-up the light-hitting Pole (just three knockouts in 21 wins, with three defeats) and was by far the better boxer, though he too, like Tom Doran, needs to forget about those at ringside and concentrate on not getting hit.
His 34-year-old foe was limited but durable, yet Cleverly got him out of there in style and is fully deserving of his title.
Yesterday, Tony Bellew, who was lined-up to fight the maths graduate before being able to make the weight, said last week’s “electric” face-off between the pair has lit the touchpaper for an inevitable world title scrap. The Liverpudlian is still getting over “the darkest 36 hours of my life” after he was granted a shock world title shot and engaged in a fiery press conference. The unbeaten Commonwealth champion then watched on as his rival defended this belt.
“He doesn’t like me and I don’t like him,” the 28-year-old said. “Nathan Cleverly is intimidated by me. Deep down, when he goes to bed at night, when he closes his door, when he is all alone, Nathan Cleverly is scared of Tony Bellew. I know that. He is intimidated by me.”
I like Bellew, but I doubt that very much! If they fight later this year it will be a shoot-out, of that there is no doubt, and I see it going the champion’s way.


Crolla V Murray

A lot of people consider the lightweight bout taking place in Manchester this weekend between Anthony Crolla (27-4-1) and John Murray (32-2) to be a very close call indeed. The contest, in UK's second biggest city on Easter Weekend, is for the WBO lightweight Inter-continental title, but the significance of the result means more than the marginal title as it will put them a step closer to a world title fight. Even if this isn't immediately forthcoming, the division is stacked in Britain, and can throw up some massive domestic scraps.

Fight Reports

Crag Whyatt v Ben Moorish, Camden Centre, 11th April

Last Friday at the Camden Centre, Morden super featherweight Craig Whyatt (7-1) liquidated Plymouth’s Ben Morrish (3-8-2) in the first round to bag the Masters Bronze super featherweight belt. This was scheduled for eight, but when Morrish tried to turn it into a brawl he quickly came off second best after Jeff Hinds halted proceedings following his third knockdown.