Punchlines - June 13
Nathan Cleverly has put Tony Bellew at the top of his wanted list for his next opponent.
By Nick Parkinson
Last Updated: 13/06/12 11:10am
Nathan Cleverly has put Tony Bellew at the top of his wanted list for his next opponent ahead of Mikkel Kessler and Beibut Shumenov.
The Welshman has met with promoter Frank Warren and told him about his desire to face Liverpool rival Bellew in an autumn rematch for his WBO light-heavyweight title.
Cleverly, 25, overcame Bellew by a majority decision - with one judge scoring it a draw - in the second defence of his WBO belt in October last year.
Bellew, 29, has since demolished Danny McIintosh in a British title defence and has recently been quoted as saying he is looking to sever ties with Warren and work with a new promoter.
But Cleverly does not see Bellew's wish to split with Warren as an obstacle to preventing the rematch from happening this autumn after an excellent and close first encounter.
He said: "I'm looking to fight again in September or October and we are just working on an opponent now.
"I've had a meeting with Frank Warren and I told him I would like a big name or someone that would sell as my next opponent.
"I want to be involved in big fights and that's the way we are going to go forward now.
"There are a couple of opponents and we are just trying to get one now. I'm particularly interested in getting Bellew again because it's a fight that would get me motivated and it's a matter I want to put to bed.
"He's been talking a lot and disrespecting me. I want to make him pay for that and I would take him out the next time, it won't go to points.
"Whether Tony Bellew wants it or not I don't know, but I want to try and make it happen. Tony wants another promoter but hopefully the opportunity of another world title shot will make him think again and he won't turn it down.
"He knows there's a high risk of him losing and a second defeat might not be good for his career so there's a chance he won't take it. If that's the case there are other options for me."
If a rematch with Bellew cannot be made, Cleverly claims his team will start talks with Denmark's former world super-middleweight champion Kessler or reigning WBA light-heavyweight king Shumenov, of Kazakhstan.
Kessler has been linked with a rematch with Nottingham's new IBF super-middleweight champion Carl Froch, but Cleverly is confident he could beat his fellow British fighter to the Dane.
Cleverly, who out-pointed American Tommy Karpency in his last outing in February, added: "There's Shumenov and if that happens it would be a unification fight. He would be ready because he's only recently fought and it's an ambition of mine to unify the world titles.
"And Kessler would be a huge fight. He's a light-heavyweight now and looking for another world title shot. I would be more than willing to take him on.
"There's talk of him also possibly fighting Carl Froch next but Kessler is at light-heavyweight now, not super-middleweight, and I've got a world title.
"These are the type of fights I want to be involved in and I believe I'm experienced enough now to do it. I want it sooner rather than later."
Team GB Olympic boxing captain Tom Stalker is keeping a food diary to ensure he stays on the weight for London 2012 next month.
The Scouser, who is skipper of Team GB's seven men and three women boxing line-up, is already around the 64kg light-welterweight limit and is confident there will be no repeat of four years ago when Birmingham's Frankie Gavin was beaten by the scales.
Pre-tournament favourite Gavin had to pull out on the eve of the 2008 Olympics after failing to make the lightweight limit at Beijing.
But Stalker, who is strongly fancied for a light-welterweight medal after winningi bronze at last year's World Championships, said: "My weight is perfect. What's I've done to keep myself on the weight is to do a food diary and I write in it absolutely everything I eat, every day.
"So if I eat a bit of chocolate, I put it in it but if I've eaten just fruit I put that in and I can look back at it and feel good about myself.
"Eating clean helps no end and the last time I had a drink was on Boxing Day. The next one will hopefully be to celebrate winning the gold medal after the Olympics."
Frankie Gavin hopes his career will regain momentum by appearing on the undercard of the David Haye-Dereck Chisora heavyweight showdown at Upton Park on July 14.
The unbeaten Birmingham welterweight faces an opponent yet to confirmed as part of the controversial show at Upton Park. The British Boxing Board of Control has threatened to withdraw the licence of any boxer who appears on the Haye-Chisora bill as part of its opposition to the heavyweight bout.
Neither Haye nor Chisora currently holds a British boxing licence following their brawl at a post-fight press conference in Munich in February. However, the fight is set to go ahead - despite the Board's opposition - under the jurisdiction of the Luxembourg Boxing Federation.
Gavin, 26, is just happy to be fighting again and hopes to continue making progress towards a shot at British champion Junior Witter after his career lost momentum last year, with seven months out of the ring.
He said: "I'm looking forward to being part of the biggest show of the year, fighting in front of 40,000 fans at Upton Park and keeping busy. I had spell out last year and had some problems, but I'm looking to catch up on lost time and fights like this will help. Junior Witter is my aim and I'm feeling sharper with every fight recently."
Amir Khan insists he is not worried about his next fight going up against the controversial heavyweight fight between David Haye and Dereck Chisora.
The Bolton light-welterweight is busy training in Los Angeles ahead of his July 14 title fight against WBC light-welterweight champion Danny Garcia.
Khan's Las Vegas fight starts a few hours after London heavyweights Haye and Chisora settle their differences at Upton Park.
Haye and Chisora are getting plenty of publicity for their bout following their public brawl in February, but Khan is confident he will also get a share of the limelight.
"My fight is the bigger one in terms of status," he told Punchlines. "I'm fighting an American, an unbeaten fighter and I've got Sky and HBO in America showing it, which is better exposure.
"I'm not worried about it being on the same night and I don't think it will be a problem for me."
Khan will be fighting for the first time since losing his WBA and IBF world titles to American Lamont Peterson by a disputed points decision which his team hope will be over-turned to a no-contest at a hearing on June 13.
After Peterson tested positive for using performance-enhancing drugs before their December fight, Khan is hoping he will be reinstated as WBA and IBF champion in time to make his clash against WBC title-holder Garcia a showdown to decide the ten stone undisputed world champion.
Khan's camp hope the Nevada State Athletic Commission will reject Peterson's appeal into taking synthetic testosterone at a hearing on June 13.
He added: "Garcia is an unbeaten and is a big test for me. We could have three belts on the line to decide the undisputed world champion if I get my WBA and IBF belts back before July 14 because Peterson tested positive. That would make the fight even bigger."
Unbeaten 6ft 9in giant Tyson Fury, the former British heavyweight champion, is training in Essen, Belgium, ahead of his next fight on July 7. Morecambe's man-mountain will face an opponent to be confirmed soon at the Hand Arena in Clevedon, near Bristol.