Nathan Cleverly eyes world title shot if he beats Tony Bellew

Nathan Cleverly (left) and Tony Bellew
Nathan Cleverly (left) lands a blow during his win over Tony Bellew in 2011
Cleverly v Bellew
Venue: Echo Arena, Liverpool
Date: Saturday, 22 November
Coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website, BBC 5 live sports extra 19:30-21:00 GMT and BBC Radio 5 live 21:00-00:00 GMT

Nathan Cleverly has his sights set on a cruiserweight world title shot if he wins his rematch with Tony Bellew.

The Welshman beat Bellew to retain his WBO light-heavyweight title in 2011, and they meet again on Saturday.

Cleverly lost that belt to Sergey Kovalev in 2013, but hopes victory against Bellew could set up a fight for a cruiserweight world crown.

"I've got a dream of becoming a two-weight champion. Win this fight and that dream is alive," said Cleverly.

Cleverly, 27, contemplated retiring after his defeat by Kovalev, but opted to continue and moved up to cruiserweight, while also changing his trainer and promoter.

The Welshman beat Shawn Corbin on his cruiserweight debut to win the WBA Inter-Continental title, which he retained with victory over Alejandro Emilio Valori in July.

Bellew followed Cleverly into the division after losing to Canada's Adonis Stevenson in a WBC light-heavyweight title fight in 2013.

The 31-year-old beat Julio Cesar Dos Santos to set up Saturday's rematch with Cleverly at Liverpool's Echo Arena.

"Both careers are on the line," said Cleverly.

"We've put ourselves on a pedestal. We've talked the talk. Who can deliver now?

"Maybe for the loser it's time to walk away, but losing is not an option for me."

Tony Bellew taunted Nathan Cleverly (baseball cap) following his victory
Tony Bellew taunted Nathan Cleverly (in baseball cap) following his victory over Julio Cesar Dos Santos

Cleverly and Bellew have both described Saturday's bout as a "grudge match", with the latter repeatedly stating he "hates" Cleverly.

The Welsh boxer says he does not feel antipathy to the same extent, but this is a fight he would dearly like to win.

"I strongly dislike him. I wouldn't say I hate the guy - I don't want to waste that emotion on him," said Cleverly.

"The way he talks is very disrespectful. He's got a big mouth. He's a bully boy.

"He's a big guy, he's got a big mouth and he tries to intimidate people.

"My ambition is to go to his backyard and bully the bully boy."

Despite the strong feelings, Cleverly is eager not to get too wound up once he is inside the ring.

"I think at this level we won't waste too much energy on the hate and the grudge match," he added.

"I'm prepared for an all-round fight. Whether it's a slugfest early on, I'm ready for it. If it's boxing match, I'm ready for it. If it's a 12-round fight, I'm ready for that.

"I'm ready for all outcomes but I can't see this going 12 rounds."

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