Boxing: Nathan Cleverly to fight Tony Bellew at O2 Arena

Nathan Cleverly has welcomed the chance to shut domestic rival Tony Bellew up when he defends his newly-acquired WBO light-heavyweight title on Saturday.

The Welshman will face Liverpool's Bellew after Juergen Braehmer, who he had been set to challenge for the WBO belt, pulled out of the O2 Arena bout and was stripped of his title.



Cleverly was subsequently upgraded from 'interim' champion and for his first defence, promoter Frank Warren gave a chance to unbeaten Commonwealth champion Bellew.



Cleverly said: "I'm really happy that Bellew will be in the opposite corner on Saturday night.



"Not only will he feel my anger from Braehmer pulling out, he'll now pay for slagging me off in the last year.



"I knew we would get it on one day and that day has come a lot sooner than expected, but I'm ready for Bellew and he's going to get knocked out."



Cleverly added on Sky Sports News: "I find him a disrespectful fighter with a loud mouth.



"He has a different style from Braehmer so I have to change my gameplan.



"I have been preparing for a southpaw in Braehmer and Bellew is an orthodox fighter.



"But when you are a boxer you have to adapt to all styles."



It emerged yesterday that champion Braehmer was not going to defend his belt, citing an eye injury, and Warren then lobbied the WBO to strip the German and name Cleverly champion while beginning the search for a credible replacement opponent.



Bellew, ranked in the WBO top 20, jumped at the chance, while the governing body granted Warren's wish overnight.



"The fight between Nathan and Tony has been brewing up in the last year and it's happened sooner than expected," Warren said.



"But I'm delighted that the fight is on and the fans are in for a real treat on Saturday night.



"There is nothing like big domestic fights and in this case on Saturday at the O2 we have two big title fights involving British guys and I'm expecting fireworks in the ring."



Bellew, 28, has long craved a showdown with 24-year-old Welsh talent Cleverly.



The younger man has garnered more attention in recent years due to his rapid rise through the sport while studying a mathematics degree which he completed last year.



But Bellew is a talent himself and despite wobbles in recent performances, the Liverpudlian remains unbeaten and has a reputation as a powerful puncher.



Bellew (15-0, 10KOs) had been training for a July rematch with Ovill McKenzie anyway and said: "I'm coming down to London to fight and believe when I say I'm going to knock Cleverly out cold.



"I wouldn't have put myself forward if I didn't think I could beat him.



"Be it two months' notice or two days' notice, I know I can beat Cleverly - I always have. For the fans, I can promise them the best fight they will see in the last 10 years."



The news adds spice to an already solid card in London, with Cleverly (21-0, 10KOs) sharing top billing with the much-hyped British and Commonwealth super-middleweight title clash between James DeGale and George Groves.



News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger is in Argentina having chemotherapy

Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum
theatre

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
news

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise
student

Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

March On Cancer™ - Local Marketing and Promotions Volunteer

This is an unpaid voluntary role.: Cancer Research UK: We need motivational vo...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Maths Teacher - Evening session

Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: I am looking for a qualified experi...

Teaching Assistants

£50 - £85 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Rapidly developing and growing ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week