Five reasons Bellew has to hate Cleverly

Five reasons Bellew has to hate Cleverly

After recently establishing that the reasons Tony Bellew (22-2-1, 14KO) says he hates Nathan Cleverly (28-1, 14KO) are incorrect, BoxingWales.com sat down for a brain storming session to work out where the anger comes from.

Bellew’s ‘hate’ has become a focus point in the build up to Saturday’s rematch at Liverpool’s Echo Arena, the scene where Cleverly beat his arch rival in 2011, and here’s why it may exist:

Reason 1.) There is an argument that Cleverly’s rapid rise through domestic title level and beyond stalled the rate of Bellew’s own progress and that’s what caused the initial resentment. Cleverly collected the Commonwealth, British and European titles while both boxers were under the Frank Warren promotional outfit and was known at the number one light-heavyweight. With that came the recognition and Bellew was always playing catch up, competing for titles only when Cleverly had vacated them.

Reason 2.) There are few more intimidating boxers in the build up to a fight than Bellew. When the Scouser, who stands at six foot and three inches, fixes his stare at opponents then they rarely display a degree of genuine defiance. It’s become familiar to see the pupils of Bellew’s eyes dilate to the edges of his eyeballs as he talks down an opponent but Cleverly has always made a point of meeting Bellew’s verbals head on. Cleverly’s refusal to be bullied or allow Bellew to act as an unrivalled aggressor has often led to un-rational reactions from Bellew, never more evident than the now infamous ‘you f*cking rat’ shout live on Sky Sports News in 2011.

Reason 3.) Whether Bellew agrees or not, and he says he doesn’t, his first professional defeat was to Cleverly. The result is in the record books and Cleverly’s name will always be synonymous with Bellew’s career. The Scouser seemed to initially accept the loss but he’s disagreed with it more and more as time has gone on and the subject often triggers a tasty response.

Reason 4.) If losing wasn’t enough reason for Bellew to hate Cleverly, then the manner of the defeat may be the deciding factor. Bellew was in the running until fading in the final four rounds and having been so close to winning a WBO world title could be why the episode left a bitter taste in Bellew’s mouth.

Reason 5.) It’s not difficult to see that Bellew wears his heart on his sleeve and it was evident in the post-fight interview of the original fight. As he sat exhausted on the ring apron, Bellew appeared to be on the edge of tears. Then, in the post fight press conference, observers could see Bellew hand his bloody urine to the drug testers. The physical punishment that caused the tears and bloody urine came from Cleverly and it appears he’s never been forgiven for it.

#CleverlyBellew2 will take place at Liverpool’s Echo Arena on Saturday 22nd November, live on Sky Sports Box Office (Channel 731) and Sky Sports HD Box Office (Channel 752). The event broadcast will start at 6:00pm and there are repeat viewings on Sunday 23rd November at 9:00am and 4:00pm. Up until Midnight on Friday 21st November, the event is priced at £16.95/€21.95 across all forms of booking.

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