Nathan Cleverly is now the full WBO light heavyweight titlist, as the body has promoted him from interim status after stripping Juergen Braehmer. Braehmer pulled out of the Saturday fight yesterday, opening a spot for Tony Bellew.
And let's give some real credit to Tony Bellew, too. This is quite a fight to take on incredibly short notice, and while he's been kind of a big-mouthed guy in the past, he's clearly at least willing to back up his mouth. He's wanted a fight with Cleverly, got a last-minute chance, and has taken it. His skills have been criticized, but I don't think we can question his guts.
Today's press conference got pretty hot with the two, and frankly at this point I'm more excited to see this fight than I was the Braehmer bout I never really expected to happen in the first place:
What a hoot. I seriously prefer this to No-Show Braehmer, in part because I was a bit worried Braehmer would knock out Cleverly, which would have meant more Braehmer holding a title in our future. Now he's basically a non-entity. Without the belt, he's just a guy in Germany who never fights.
Bad Left Hook will have live coverage on Saturday of the Cleverly vs Bellew and DeGale vs Groves card, starting at 3pm EDT.