Hearn: Cleverly is calm and Bellew’s fuse is getting shorter
Eddie Hearn says that Cefn Fforest’s Nathan Cleverly’s (28-1, 14KO) is in a better mental state to execute his game plan on Saturday than Tony Bellew (22-2-1, 14KO). The pair meet at Liverpool’s Echo Arena in the second instalment of their bitter rivalry and it’s threatened to boil over in the build up as Bellew bids for revenge, following a points decision loss to Cleverly in 2011. Cleverly and Bellew have had a combined 14 fights since their first fight and Hearn believes that lessons have been learned in that time that will play a part when they fight at cruiserweight. Speaking at the Welshman’s public workout in Cardiff, Hearn said, “I always look back at the Bellew and [Isaac] Chilemba fight [Split Decision draw], Tony was like a wild man all week because of how much the fight meant to him. In the changing rooms before the fight, he was punching the walls and then he was shouting at Chilemba back stage. Even in the ring, he was staring at Chilemba and when the sixth round came, his tank was empty because of the nervous energy. “I think he [Bellew] has learned from that but what you seen is, and I spoke to him this morning, his fuse is getting shorter and shorter. Nathan seems so calm and that’s a massive, massive benefit going in to a fight like this, if you can remain calm and focused. “Don’t worry too much about your desire to hurt the man, worry about executing the game plan and the mentality of both of them, he’s [Nathan] is in a better place to do that than Tony is.” The temperament of both Cleverly and Bellew will be tested twice more before fight night as they meet face-to-face at a press conference and weigh-in on Thursday and Friday, respectively. Hearn is excited about the remaining pre-fight activities but acknowledges that it could spill over. He said, “I think the press conference will be the press conference but I think the weigh-in will be where we’ve got to keep on our toes because that’s the last time they’ll look at each other in the eye before they get in the ring. “Tony is at boiling point and Nathan is capable of losing his rag as well, it’s not just Tony. There will be masses of people there, as well. It will be a really great atmosphere at the weigh-in.” The show’s promoters Matchroom Sport have the biggest stable of fighters in British boxing but the Sky Box Office main event is the first major contest where Hearn has pitted two of his own clients together. The scenario presents obvious obstacles in order to please both sides but Hearn is happy he has met the balance. He said, “It is what it is, it’s giving them both the opportunity to have the biggest fight that’s out there for them and may the best man win. I’ve known Tony for longer, I’ve shown him no favoritism, even down to the poster that says ‘Cleverly against Bellew’. He weren’t happy about that but I told him, ‘listen, he’s coming to your hometown mate, so you can’t have it all your own way’. “It’ll be interesting to see the reaction from the crowd because Tony has been the bad guy. How many casuals, as in not Liverpudlians, are going? He [Cleverly] has sold his tickets.” #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.