If there’s one thing we love about boxing in this country it’s a good grudge match!
That’s certainly what we are getting on Saturday night in Liverpool when Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew step in to the ring for a huge domestic re-match at cruiserweight.
Cleverly was the narrow victor the last time these two met at light-heavyweight and he is evens to claim a repeat win. But Ladbrokes have made Bellew, who is more suited to the heavier weight, the 5/6 favourite with the draw available at 22/1.
Cleverly – Speed and Stamina
The Welshman certainly has all the skills required for victory on Saturday night but it’s his speed that can cause the most trouble to Bellew.
The former WBO light-heavyweight champion will be looking to use his speed to get his shots away before his opponent and then move out of range of Bellew’s bombs.
Cleverly is also known for having one the best engine’s in the fight game and his output of punches will be important if he is to repeat his win from three years ago.
Bellew – Power
The Liverpool fighter has always had a reputation for being able to bang but towards the end of his time at light-heavyweight, questions were being asked about whether having to make weight was affecting his punching power.
Those questions do not need to be answered anymore with the fight being made at cruiserweight and Bellew has proved he has the knockout power to trouble anyone at this weight after devastating knockouts over Valery Brudov and Julio Cesar Dos Santos in his last two outings.
Cleverly – Lack of head movement
Tactics will be vital in this fight and with Cleverly knowing all about Bellew’s power, the Cardiff-born star will be looking to box on the back foot keep out of range.
The danger is if he gets drawn into a war just like he did against light-heavyweight king Sergey Kovalev and with his lack of head movement it could prove costly against Bellew at this weight.
Bellew – Emotion
It’s no secret Bellew wears his heart on his sleeve and it’s clear for everybody to see his hatred for his Welsh opponent.
If he can channel that aggression in the right way the Scouse fighter will be difficult to beat but if there’s one accusation that’s been labelled at Bellew it has not been his ability to sell a fight but failure to perform on the night.
There’s a danger that Bellew could have burnt up too much energy with his antics in the build up to this fight and if he lets his emotions get the better of him on the night, he could find himself walking on to a number of Cleverly combination punches.
Bellew’s two outings at cruiserweight have been excellent preparation for this fight and it’s clear to see his power is a serious weapon at this heavier weight.
On the other hand Cleverly has not really been tested since his move up in weight and it remains to be seen how he reacts when a serious puncher lands a shot on the money.
It would be no surprise to see a repeat of the pair’s fight in 2011 with Cleverly sticking to a game plan and boxing his way to victory but cruiserweight suits Bellew.
If the Evertonian can catch up with his opponent and land one of his bombs on Cleverly’s chin it could be curtains for the Welshman.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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