British and Commonwealth light heavyweight champ Tony Bellew says that Nathan Cleverly needs him to sell tickets, while Cleverly says that Bellew is a lot of big talk and little more.
From Bellew via Sky Sports:
"He is getting the best payday of his career because I generate media interest. He can't generate anything.
"What kind of champion comes to my hometown for his second defence? That is a champion that can't sell out his own back garden."
And from Cleverly:
"I think Tony's talking earned the fight - he knows that. That's why he acted like he did in the press conference.
"But I've got no issue with that. I didn't have to take the fight, I didn't have to come to Liverpool. I could have gone a different route.
"I am a born winner and the outcome is going to remain the same, I am going to stay undefeated."
To be 100% fair, as much as Bellew (16-0, 10 KO) might not have earned a world title shot, it's also easy to say that Cleverly (22-0, 11 KO) didn't really earn the title, either, having it handed over after Juergen Braehmer did his usual and bailed on a fight that wasn't set up for him to win in Germany.
It's a nice rivalry clash, though, which could be a good fight if Bellew goes back to being the reckless brawler he was prior to his last fight, a dull alleged "masterpiece" win over Ovill McKenzie. And combined with the Wilczewski vs DeGale fight, it will be a nice afternoon warm-up for those of in the U.S. before the Hopkins vs Dawson card that night.