Blogs & Opinion


Glenn McCrory wants Tony Bellew to be aggressive and Nathan Cleverly to fight the best

Features Posted 15th November 2012 view comments

Tony Bellew has shown a bit more patience and guile in his last few fights, but I hope he doesn't lose the showbiz element that made him so watchable.

The Liverpudlian's bout with Orvill Mcknezie in 2010, which he won despite being knocked to the canvas twice, was a bit of a wake-up call and made him realise that he couldn't keep marching in and trying to land knock-out shots.

Liverpool one: Scouser Bellew (left) can move nearer to a world title by beating Bolonti

Liverpool one: Scouser Bellew (left) can move nearer to a world title by beating Bolonti

But I think the light-heavyweight was too careful in his September fight with Edison Miranda and could have sent the much-travelled Colombian packing a lot sooner than the ninth round, perhaps even as early as the sixth.

The 29-year-old has to find the perfect blend between defence and attack, but he is known as Bomber because he is fast, frenetic and exciting and he must keep on being that way, because that style and not just victories will get him headline bouts.

If Bellew can work out when to go on a rampage and when to hold back, I see him continuing to flourish.

Glenn McCrory
Quotes of the week

Live on Sky Sports

Tony Bellew v Roberto Bolonti
8pm, Sat, Sky Sports 1 HD
Also showing in Sky 3D

The aim of boxing is to get bums on seats and sell tickets; that's the first thing a promoter will ask a highly-decorated amateur to do when he joins the pro ranks. Anyone who thinks the sport is just about how many wins you chalk up is sorely mistaken.

Tony talks a good game but he has to keep on fighting one, too, and he will get that opportunity on Saturday night when, on Carl Froch's undercard, he tackles 33-year-old Argentine Roberto Bolonti.

Bolonti is not particularly well known on these shores but his record certainly stacks up - he is 30-1 as a professional - and if he was English we would be saying 'Wow, what a fight we have on our hands'.

I would expect Bellew to win, though, and I do think he is ready to contest for a world title again, following his narrow points loss to Nathan Cleverly last year. He is a fantastic physical specimen and if he can work out when to go on a rampage, like Froch did against Lucian Bute in May, and when to hold back, I see him continuing to flourish.

Domestic

Cleverly, meanwhile, has friends in high places as prior to his eighth-round stoppage of America's Shawn Hawk in Los Angeles at the weekend, Freddie Roach revealed his desire to train the Welshman and Oscar De La Hoya said he wanted to promote him.

However, I still think he is domestic class; he was virtually handed the WBO title, like a lot of Frank Warren fighters have in the past, and has not yet fought anyone in the top bracket, like IBF champion Tavoris Cloud, an excellent boxer with a 24-fight unbeaten record.

I don't know why Cleverly has not been let off the leash yet but it needs to happen soon; he is not interesting the public at the moment in the way a world champion should be and the way Froch and Amir Khan, despite his recent indifferent spell, are.

Cleverly wants to fight and train regularly in America and I think that would be great for his development; he has conquered the small pond of Britain and plying his trade in the States would see him get the extra experience he needs.

Plus, there is no substitute for the type of sparring he will get across the Atlantic; it is still very Wild West and gung-ho out there and when you go into the gym your training partners want to kill you!

Healthy

Bellew and Cleverly are lucky in that they have some very talented boxers in their division, including current world champions Cloud, Beibut Shumenov and Chad Dawson, as well as former titlist Jean Pascal, to push them.

There is no point being a really good fighter if you aren't facing anyone of similar quality; you need healthy competition and we saw that with Joe Frazier making Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard making Roberto Duran and a host of world champions making Froch.

The accusation levelled by some at Joe Calzaghe, who was a fantastic boxer and undefeated champion, is that he did not fight anyone in of note in his and their prime; people say he fought Chris Eubank and Bernard Hopkins too late.

But if Cleverly steps up and Bellew continues to elevate, they will get the chance to beat fantastic fighters, become fantastic fighters - and hopefully face each other again.

From a British point of view, I really hope that happens.

Comments (1)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Greg Atkinson says...

Great article Glenn and I too hope they meet again, I can see Bellew winning it, I think he is the better boxer in the long run. I don't think Cleverly has been tested yet.

Posted 21:01 15th November 2012

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Add Comment*

Send us your views

Are you a Sky Sports subscriber?

*All fields required, your email address will be kept private

back to top

Other Experts:

Latest Posts in :

Alex Ferguson

King James reigns

Alex Ferguson celebrates a wacky, smile-inducing year in US sport - and salutes Miami's LeBron James....

comments

Alex Ferguson

Start your engines!

Alex Ferguson predicts who will triumph in NASCAR's showpiece race, the Daytona 500....

comments

Alex Ferguson

Clowney's no joke

US sports expert Alex Ferguson profiles Jadeveon Clowney, the biggest defensive pick of the draft....

Alex Ferguson

Call of the century

Spacemen Portland pick Bowie over Jordan - Alex Ferguson ranks the biggest decisions in US Sport....

comments

Alex Ferguson

A perfect union?

Alex Ferguson looks at the possible unionisation of college football and how he would handle the issue....

Alex Ferguson

Independence aces

Alex Ferguson kicks off his Independence Day fun by picking his 20 best bits of American sport....

comments

Ed Chamberlin

Made for Mourinho

Ed Chamberlin says a trip to high-flying Liverpool is a situation made for tactical master Jose Mourinho....

Paul Merson

Arsenal must win

Paul Merson says Arsenal have to have a right go and beat West Ham to keep their top-four bid alive....

Ed Chamberlin

Van the man?

Ed Chamberlin explains why Tejay van Garderen is capable of plucking the Tour de France's Yellow Jersey....

comments

Glenn Hoddle

Pep 'trying too hard'

Glenn Hoddle says Pep Guardiola is trying too hard to evolve and has made Bayern Munich worse....

Stuart Barnes

Rhythm and flow

Stuart Barnes says video referees are ruining the rhythm of games and causing too many delays....

Phil Clarke

To Hull and back

Phil Clarke looks at the mental damage done to Hull FC and Huddersfield in the Challenge Cup....

Bob Willis

Away for a while

Bob Willis thinks Jonathan Trott will be absent from England duty for some time following his relapse....

Rob Lee

Out of the woods

Rob Lee heralds the return to form of Lee Westwood and says he could yet win multiple majors....

Rob Lee

Pinky and perky

Rob Lee blogs on his vivid Masters Breakfast attire and the men that made waves at Augusta National....

Barry Cowan

Barcelona bounce

Barry Cowan says Rafa Nadal must bounce back in Barcelona and hails the form of Stan Wawrinka....

Mark Petchey

Fillip for Ferrer

Mark Petchey marvels at David Ferrer's win over Rafael Nadal but downplays it's long-term significance....

Alex Hammond

Just Cause

Alex Hammond reveals her tips for the Irish Grand National and the other decent racing in Ireland this weeend....

Alex Hammond

Going the distance

Marathon entrant Alex Hammond previews the Newbury action and Scottish National meeting at Ayr....

Alex Hammond

Rocky's road

Alex Hammond explains why she is backing Rocky Creek and Lion Na Bearnai at the Grand National....

Johnny Nelson

Battle of Manchester

From Crolla's derby delight to Munroe's emotional farewell - Saturday had it all, says Johnny Nelson....

Glenn McCrory

Manny happy returns

Manny Pacquiao is back to his best and could yet get it on with Floyd Mayweather, says Glenn McCrory....

Johnny Nelson

Delighted for DeGale

James DeGale's Matchroom switch is the perfect move to get him back in the mix, says Johnny Nelson....

View from America

The Fog of War

Simon Veness reviews the "torturous" hype ahead of the NFL Draft and why it's so hard to predict....

Neal Foulds

Trump tip

Ronnie O'Sullivan is favourite for the Worlds - but Judd Trump could spring a shock, says Neal Foulds....

Neal Foulds

Night at the Circus

Neal Foulds is looking forward to another fun, raucous Snooker Shoot-Out - but can't pick a winner....

comments

Neal Foulds

Simply the best?

Five-time Masters champion Ronnie O'Sullivan may be the best snooker player ever, says Neal Foulds....

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Gear shift

Wolverhampton and Belle Vue will want to kick-start their seasons on Tuesday night, says Kelvin....

Kelvin Tatum

The contenders

Kelvin Tatum runs through the teams and riders ahead of the 2014 Elite League Speedway season....

Kelvin Tatum

Kelvin's 2013 Review

Kelvin Tatum salutes Poole's hierarchy and Tai Woffinden in his round-up of the speedway season....

comments

Richard Moore

The final curtain

Richard Moore reflects on Sunday's Closing Ceremony to an unforgettable Olympic Games......

comments

Richard Moore

A lasting golden glow

Richard Moore suggests all the British Olympians should visit schools and talk about their experiences....

comments

Richard Moore

Favourite Froome

Richard Moore reveals his predictions for the 100th Tour de France, which starts on Saturday....

comments

Wayne McCullough

Wonderful Davis

Wayne McCullough watched Antonio Rogerio Nogueria take on Phil Davis at UFC Fight Night 24. ...

0 comments

Wayne McCullough

Jones shines bright

Wayne McCullough was highly impressed as the talented Jon Jones made short work of Mauricio Rua....

2 comments

Wayne McCullough

A bloody marvel

Wayne McCullough salutes Diego Sanchez as he edges out Martin Kampmann in a UFC humdinger....

0 comments