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Cleverly-Bellew rematch possible for 2012

Nathan Cleverly Tony Bellew Bellew vs. CleverlyBy Scott Gilfoid: According to promoter Frank Warren, a rematch between Nathan Cleverly (23-0, 11 KO’s) and Tony Bellew (16-1, 11 KO’s) is possible for 2012. It won’t be happening in his next fight on February 25th, though. Cleverly will be defending his belt in Wales and it’s not likely he’s going to get much of an opponent, although I don’t understand how he isn’t due to his mandatory defense since his last fight against the #13 ranked Bellew.

Warren says that Cleverly is looking for a unification bout later in 2012. The talk is that Cleverly wants 46-year-old WBC light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins or Beibut Shumenov, the WBA champion. I don’t think a Hopkins fight is possible unless Hopkins really has nothing going on and is willing to fight a little known fighter like Cleverly in the U.S. I don’t see it happening because Hopkins has to defend his title next with Chad Dawson and that’ll probably be it for Hopkins because he’s going to lose that fight.

Bellew may be the best option for Cleverly to be honest. If you put Cleverly in with Dawson or Tavoris Cloud, Cleverly isn’t on the same level as those guys and will just get whipped. I suppose they could set up a fight with Shumenov, but he’s a smart guy and will probably never agree to fight in the UK. It would have to take place in Las Vegas or somewhere in the U.S. Would Cleverly and Warren be up for that? I doubt it.

Shumenov would be considered the home fighter and in the U.S, it’s all about clean landing shots. Cleverly is more of a light hitter that throws a lot of punches. Shumenov would land the more telling blows and Cleverly would go home a loser. I think Cleverly would have lost his fight with Bellew it the fight took place in the U.S, because Bellew landed the harder and cleaner shots. Cleverly was a little busier and landed a few more shots, but Bellew was the one that was landing the big bombs in every round.

I think Warren has to go with the Bellew-Cleverly rematch fairly soon in 2012. Hopkins won’t be there, Dawson would embarrass Cleverly and not agree to fight in the UK; Shumenov would never agree to fight in the UK, and would be the harder puncher; Cloud would never agree to fight in the UK and would likely knock Cleverly out.

I think Cleverly is one of those fighters that has to be matched carefully to keep him winning. You put him in with the top guys right now and he loses. Warren should put him back in with Bellew or have him take a real challenge and defend his title against Enzo Maccarinelli.

The only way I could see Cleverly winning a unification bout against any of the current champions is if the fight took place in the UK and he won one of those controversial decisions where he appears to lost by a lopsided margin but is given the decision anyway. The other champions didn’t just get out of bed, they’ve got their eyes open and know what happens when you go to another fighters’ home town and try to fight them. They won’t won’t do it no matter if the money is good or not.

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