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Cleverly: Bellew is too fat and slow to beat me

bellewBy Scott Gilfoid: #6 WBO, #9 WBA, #10 IBF, #15 WBC Nathan Cleverly (28-1, 14 KOs) feels he’ll have little problem in beating former WBC Silver light heavyweight champion Tony Bellew (22-2-1, 14 KOs) next month in their fight in Bellew’s hometown on 11/22 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK.

The way Cleverly sees it, Bellew is simply too flabby and too much of a plodder now that he’s fighting in the cruiserweight division for him to give him any problems. Cleverly beat Bellew three years ago by a 12 round majority decision in 2011 when Bellew was slender and not carrying visible fat around his waistline, but now that he’s moved up to the cruiserweight division, much of the weight that Bellew has put on is fat instead of muscle.

“As I’ve said, he’s [Bellew] too fat and too slow. Speed kills and that’s going to be the difference on fight night,” Cleverly said via “I would say – being honest – Bellew has the edge in power. He’s naturally the bigger puncher, but that’s his only asset that’s better than mine.”

I have to agree with what Cleverly is saying about Bellew being fat and slow at cruiserweight. I mean, he struggled badly against two mediocre cruiserweights in Julio Cesar Dos Santos and Valery Brudov. To be sure, Bellew knocked them both out, but he struggled like heck to beat both of them.

We’re not even talking about the truly upper echelon of the cruiserweight division in those guys. Had Bellew been matched against some of the good cruiserweights like Grigory Drozd, Rakhim Chakhkiev, Ola Afolabi or Thabiso Mchunu, I think he’d have been knocked out by all of them.

Cleverly says he’s got more of an offensive assortment of punches, and he sees his hand speed being too much for Bellew. I don’t think either of those are going to be the main reason why Cleverly will do well in this fight. The main assets that Cleverly has in his favor over Bellew is his superior stamina and high work rate. Bellew won’t be able to match Cleverly in either of those departments, and that’s going to lead to him losing the fight.

Cleverly has a good enough chin to take the shots that Bellew will be landing, because he doesn’t have Sergey Kovalev type power. Bellew can punch a little, but not enough to give Cleverly any problems. To KO Cleverly, it takes a lot more power than the kind that Bellew possesses. If Bellew can’t knockout Cleverly then there’s no way he can beat him, because he doesn’t have the skills or the work rate needed to win enough rounds.

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