Reports from BBC radio are stating that late-notice opponent Tony Bellew cannot make the 175-pound light heavyweight limit by tomorrow's weigh-in, and as such the retooled "This Is It" Sky Box Office event could once again be facing a need for a substitute main eventer.
Nathan Cleverly was originally supposed to face Juergen Braehmer for Braehmer's WBO trinket, but Braehmer pulled his usual and backed out of the fight on Wednesday. Cleverly press rival Tony Bellew was given the spot, and that resulted in a cracking press conference battle between the two earlier today, but now we're here.
There appear to be two options:
- Making this a non-title fight and doing a 10-rounder.
- Finding yet another replacement opponent, which is going to be nearly impossible as far as getting a quality challenger in goes.
Honestly, I'd prefer they just go with the first option. Cleverly vs Bellew now has some heat behind it and is something that people, myself included, want to see. Cleverly is the heavy favorite as Bellew is quite limited in the ring, but Bellew has brass and will come to fight. And there's just no way they can find another opponent who isn't a bit of a stinker on one day's notice. Just no way.
At least the James DeGale vs George Groves fight is still full steam ahead, but when you think of the last few Sky Box Office shows, it's getting pretty rough. They had the Haye vs Harrison debacle in November, then a massively retooled and ultimately highly disappointing "Gr8 Britan vs The World" showcase in December. Last month they pulled the plug on Amir Khan vs Paul McCloskey, which wound up on Premier Sports. And now we have this. Part of me says that Frank Warren should well have known better than to get involved with Braehmer in the first place, but what can you do?
I really do hope they just stick with the fight and make it non-title, but we'll see.