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Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Bellew headlines stacked UK card

By Dan Rafael

England’s Tony Bellew got wiped out in a sixth-round knockout loss against light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson on Nov. 30. Like so many fighters before him, a big loss means one thing: moving up in weight.

That is what Bellew is doing for his next fight. He is headed for cruiserweight to face Russia’s Valery Brudov (41-4, 28 KOs), a former interim titlist with vast experience.

They will meet at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England, on March 15, Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn announced Tuesday.

Bellew (20-2-1, 12 KOs) is just one of several notable fighters appearing on the show.

Welterweight contender Kell Brook (31-0, 21 KOs) and lightweight contender Kevin Mitchell (36-2, 26 KOs) are also scheduled to compete as they stay busy moving toward world title opportunities. Neither has an opponent yet.

Brook is the mandatory challenger for world titleholder Shawn Porter, but both will have interim bouts, Brook on this card and Porter likely in an optional defense in April (perhaps against Keith Thurman). If Brook wins the March 15 fight, he is supposed to get the title shot by June.

Three of the fighting Smith brothers are also slated to see action. Junior lightweight Stephen Smith (18-1, 11 KOs) will probably face Fernando David Saucedo (51-5-3, 7 KOs) of Argentina in an eliminator.

British super middleweight champion Paul Smith will defend on the card against an opponent to be determined. Also, super middleweight Callum Smith (9-0, 7 Kos), the youngest of the brothers, will see action.

Commonwealth super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding (17-0, 10 KOs) is supposed to face fellow Liverpool native Tony Dodson (29-8-1, 14 KOs), who is coming off a knockout loss to Paul Smith on June 29. Dodson needs to first win a fight scheduled for Feb. 22.