I'll retire Nathan Cleverly, claims bitter rival Tony Bellew
TONY Bellew claims he will beat Julio Cesar Dos Santos at the Echo Arena in Liverpool tomorrow night and then concentrate on ending Nathan Cleverly's career.
Bellew faces big-hitting Brazilian Dos Santos in his second fight at cruiserweight, with bitter rival Cleverly, of Cefn Fforest, clashing with Alejandro Valori on the same bill also in his second bout at 200lbs.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has dubbed the show ‘Collision Course’ as the rivals head towards a huge rematch of their October 2011 fight later in the year, and the hometown favourite says if they both get through their challenges at the weekend, a second fight is inevitable – and Bellew wants to settle the score in emphatic fashion.
“It will happen and when it does happen I am going to retire him,” said Bellew. “Whether it be this year, next year or whenever, I will retire him.
“I need to focus on this fight and not give him a second thought.
“In the back of my mind the carrot is being dangled in front of me and when this fight is over he will be on my mind, but for now it is all about Dos Santos and getting the job done. When his time comes he will understand and he will know what is coming.
“When I get in the ring with him I am not losing two stone, I am not killing myself to do the weight, and he is going to know that.”
The winner of the Cleverly v Bellew rematch could be in line for a world title shot but the Liverpool fighter says the grudge match will mean more to him than any belt.
“It doesn’t need a world title,” he added. “It is personal. The fight does absolutely nothing for my ranking because he is ranked below me.
“I will be fighting him purely for personal reasons, because I want to get rid of him. It is personal and that is the only reason I will fight him.
“I am all about becoming world champion but I will be fighting him to purely please a personal satisfaction. I believe I won the first fight, but I didn’t officially get the decision.
“I am pretty confident I will get it next time – I won’t need decisions, referees or judges. I will just need a pair of gloves and him in a ring, and I will do the rest of the job.”
Newport lightweight Craig Woodruff is also on the bill tomorrow night as he takes on Olympic gold medal winner Luke Campbell live on the Sky Sports show.