Tony Bellew has vowed to send Nathan Cleverly into retirement if they stay on course for a rematch this Saturday.
The bitter rivals appear on the same bill at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Saturday, live on Sky Sports, and victories for both men should pave the way for a return bout between the cruiserweights.
There is plenty at stake for each fighter, who are rebuilding their careers in a higher division, and defeat could end their hopes of fighting for a world title again.
Bellew cannot disguise his ill-feeling towards Cleverly after suffering a points defeat against him in 2011 and has vowed to deliver a career-ending loss in their second clash.
The Merseysider, who faces Julio Cesar Dos Santos this weekend, told The Liverpool Echo: Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to him (Cleverly) it will be different because I despise him.
I will never forget what he said after our first fight. He said it was easy and that he’d fought me with two broken ribs.
So when we have the rematch I am going to retire him and finish his career. He will never fight again.
Those comments he made in the after-fight press conference – having initially said it was a really hard fight and that he’d not want to fight me again – I thought ‘that’s not what you said to me in the ring’.
That has stayed with me and winds me up. When I get him in the ring in November I am going to retire him.
Cleverly will take on Alejandro Emilio Valori as he warms up for the British battle, but Bellew is refusing to look past his Brazilian opponent.
A day doesn’t go by when I don’t think about hurting Cleverly but I can’t allow that to get into my mindset because the fight now is about Dos Santos, a tried and tested cruiserweight and a dangerous one, he said.
I am a good professional and fully focused on the job. Everyone came to the press conference expecting some kind of nutty press conference.
You’ll get the insane behaviour when the time is right. If I had been provoked at the press conference then I may have reacted but I don’t think he has any intention of provoking me because I think he is genuinely intimidated by me.
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