Bellew: ‘My opponent tougher than Clev’s’
Tony Bellew has poured scorn on rival Nathan Cleverly, saying that his British light heavyweight title fight against Danny McIntosh is tougher than the opponents Nathan Cleverly has faced for his world title.
Bellew defends his British strap against the former European champion in ‘The Big Bang’ at the Echo Arena Liverpool on April 13 live on Sky Sports, and the 30-year-old has been far from impressed with the names on Nathan’s record since their clash.
Since beating Bellew in an epic battle in the same venue in October, Cleverly has gone on to score a routine points win over little known American Tommy Karpency now followed by an April 28 date with Germany’s Robin Krasniqi.
‘I'm the one coming off the loss, but I'm fighting a better opponent than him,’ said Bellew. ‘Anyone in the game knows that a former European champion is a threat and a McIntosh is a good boxer because his credentials don't lie.
‘Cleverly beat McIntosh three years ago but they were both novices then and they have both come on miles since then. I'm fighting the best version of McIntosh, he's got more experience now.
‘McIntosh travelled away from home to win the title, stopping Thierry Karl in his backyard. He's got a lot of ambition and a lot left to offer, and I'm not in the game to knock over jobsworths.
‘If I'd won the Cleverly fight, I would not have been fighting Tommy Karpency. Everybody knows that I would have been thrust into a rematch and I would have been happy with that, so why not one for me?
‘But I don't want to fight the Tommy Karpency's of this world, he's a tough guy and I've got lots of respect for that, but I wouldn't want to kill myself in training camps to beat some guy up who is just going to put his hands in front of his head for 12 rounds.’