3:15pm Tuesday 10th June 2014
GWENT'S former world light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly will face Alejandro Emilio Valori at Liverpool's Echo Arena on Saturday, July 12.
It will be Cleverly's second fight at cruiserweight after his second-round defeat of Shawn Corbin in Cardiff last month.
Argentine Valori, aged 31, has won 15 of his 19 fights, 11 by knockout, but this is his first fight outside his homeland.
Cefn Fforest ace Cleverly will share top billing with fellow cruiserweight Tony Bellew, who fights Brazil's Julio Cesar dos Santos.
Cleverly beat Bellew at the same venue in a light-heavyweight contest in October 2011 and the pair look set for a rematch at cruiserweight later this year, as long as they both progress through their respective fights on the card.
Liverpool's Bellew made his debut at his new weight in March, stopping Valery Brudov in the 11th round.
Cleverly made four successful defences of his WBO light-heavyweight crown, including the Bellew fight, before losing to Russian Sergey Kovalev in August 2013 in Cardiff.
“This is my third fight in Liverpool and it’s been a good hunting ground for me,” said Cleverly.
“Hopefully it will be the same again but Valori is going to come to fight.
“I’m in the cruiserweight category now and these guys have got a lot of weight on them.
“But I love this weight division,” he added. “I feel natural at this weight and I feel strong and sharp and after a successful first fight I want to keep that momentum going now.
“I’m keeping busy with a second fight in three months but I’m fresh and I’m going to make sure I keep winning.
“Hopefully Bellew keeps doing the business as well and then we’re going to get it on.”
Bellew insists he is focusing all his energy on dos Santos first and foremost.
“It’s all I’m looking at – July 12 – and getting this next guy out of the way,” said the Liverpool fighter. “And then move onwards and upwards.”
But promoter Eddie Hearn is determined for Cleverly and Bellew to meet before the year is out.
He said: “My obvious ambition is to get these two guys together and once they get the job done on July 12 I’ll be making sure we get that fight made as soon as possible.”
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