Cleverly, Bellew and Joshua talk about Saturday’s fights at Echo Arena
By Scott Gilfoid: Former WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (27-1, 13 KOs’) will be back in the ring this Saturday night for made to order opponent Alejandro Emilio Valori (15-4m, 11 KO’s) at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK.
This will be the second fight for the 27-year-old Cleverly at cruiserweight, and he realizes that he can’t make a mistake in this fight or else it’ll be bad for his career. At stake is a big money rematch against Tony Bellew (21-2-1, 13 KOs) for later on this year.
“It’s the second chapter in my career and there’s no room for slip-ups. I’ve prepared for Valori like it’s a world title fight,” Cleverly said.
Bellew will be fighting a tougher opponent on the card in Julio Cesar Dos Santos (26-2, 23 KO’s). This is also a very winnable fight for Bellew, as his promoter Eddie Hearn has clearly done his homework in scouting out Dos Santos in fighting him at the #11 WBO spot. However, as bad as Bellew looked in his last fight in what was supposed to be an easy job against 37-year-old Valery Brudov, there are no guarantees with Bellew.
Every fight, even the ones that are supposed to be mismatches, are potentially dangerous ones for him.
Bellew said “I’ve been very diligent in camp. I’m 50/50 on whether to keep the beard to see how hard he hits, I might need the extra cushion!”
Dos Santos is a bigger puncher than Bellew’s last opponent Brudov, which could spell disaster for Bellew if he’s unable to get the 36-year-old Brazilian out of there. It’s not exactly a good sign that Dos Santos has never been knocked out before in his 6-year pro career, but then again he’s faced largely weak opposition, so it’s hard to know how he’ll react when he starts getting hit.
Heavyweight prospect Anthony Joshua (6-0, 6 KOs) will be taking a step up against Max Skelton (28-8, 23 KO’s) that doesn’t promise to tell us much about Joshua other than whether he can do a better job of stopping the 47-year-old Skelton than David Price did in knocking him out in 2 rounds inn 2012.
“I’ve got a great buzz about Saturday. It’s going to be rocking in there and I can’t wait to perform here,” Joshua said.
Also on Saturday’s card at the Echo Arena is super middleweight prospect Callum Smith fighting Vladine Biosse, super featherweight Stephen Smith taking on Pedro Navarette, super middleweight Rocky Fielding fighting Noe Gonzalez, lightweight Luke Campbell facing Craig Woodruff, and middleweight prospect Anthony Ogogo fighting Wayne Reed.
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