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Nathan Cleverly to face Tony Bellew

8/30/2011 - Boxing

Light heavyweight titlist Nathan Cleverly of Wales will make his second defense against England's Tony Bellew, promoter Frank Warren announced on Tuesday.

They will meet Oct. 15 in the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England, Bellew's hometown.

Cleverly was elevated from interim titleholder to full titlist by the WBO in May when Jürgen Brahmer pulled out a couple of days before the bout and was stripped.

After Brahmer withdrew from the fight, Cleverly (22-0, 11 KOs) defended his new belt a few days later against late substitute Aleksy Kuziemski, knocking him out in the fourth round.

However, before Kuziemski was signed, Bellew (16-0, 10 KOs) had agreed to fill in for Brahmer and they got into a heated exchange at the press conference. But almost as quickly as he had accepted the fight, Bellew was scratched because he was not going to be close to making the 175-pound division limit on such short notice.

"A fight between me and Bellew has been heating up for a long time and now he's ready to be taught a lesson," Cleverly said. "He's got a big mouth, but he can't back it up with his fists and this time he's talked himself into big trouble that he won't be able to fight his way out of. My blood boils when I think back to the press conference we had and he wanted to fight there and then.

"I just wish it was him in the ring that night instead of Kuziemski. I would have knocked him (out), but he would have come out with excuses that he was a last minute replacement. I'm happy that this time he's had time to prepare and his weight will right and he'll have no excuses when he's knocked out cold by me."

Bellew, the British and Commonwealth champion, said with time to prepare for the bout he will be on weight.

"I'll be fit and ready on the night and it's the worst scenario that he could have ever wished for. I'll give him nightmares," Bellew said. "This is the fight I've wanted and been banging for and now I'm going to prove all along what I've been saying is true. I rattled him at the last press conference. He'll deny it, but he was physically shaking and it's still playing on his mind now. He can't beat me mentally or physically and he knows that. He may have a touch more speed, but I have plans to counter that."

Warren said it is possible that the winner could get a chance to face champion Bernard Hopkins if he defeats Chad Dawson on Oct. 15.

"I'm in discussions with Hopkins' promoter, Richard Schaefer, about a potential fight with the winner, so it's a massive incentive for both guys."

Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.