Ovill McKenzie has been sparring with Tony Bellew’s big rival WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly ahead of his rematch with the Scouser.
Derby puncher McKenzie and Bellew, the Commonwealth Light-Heavyweight Champion, face each other again at the Liverpool Echo Arena on Saturday 16th July in a return of their thriller last December that saw both men hit the canvas, with Bellew winning by stoppage in the eighth round.
“Bomber” Bellew will be looking to get McKenzie out of the way so that he can get it on with his Welsh adversary who has just returned to training after his world title win.
Cleverly and Bellew came to verbal blows at a heated press conference in May when Bellew stepped in to replace Juergen Braehmer who failed to show up for his showdown with Cleverly.
Ultimately Bellew was beaten by the scales and couldn’t make the weight in time, but it has set up an explosive clash of unbeaten fighters that could happen later this year.
“I got a call saying that McKenzie wanted some good hard sparring for his fight with Bellew and we said come down for tomorrow and the next day he was there ready to go,” Said Cleverly.
“It was my first day back in training yesterday and instead of easing back in gently I did twelve hard rounds with McKenzie at our gym in Bargoed,”
“There’s was no holding back between us, he is really up for the fight and fancies pulling off the upset as he came close last time. He’s punching hard and I can see how he floored Bellew in the first fight.”
“I’ll be ringside at the Liverpool Echo Arena on the night and I see it as a 50/50 fight between them. I’d want Bellew to come through because that sets up a massive fight between us and we can settle our differences once and for all.”
“I want to be the one to knock Bellew clean out after his lack of respect at the press conference in May. He got me really riled up and I just want to put some manners back on him and show him that I’m the best in Britain.”
Bellew v McKenzie features on a massive fight card at the Liverpool Echo Arena, live on Sky Sports 1HD, that is headlined by Ricky Burns’ WBO World Super-Featherweight title defence against Nicky Cook; Kevin Mitchell’s highly-anticipated showdown with John Murray for the Vacant WBO Intercontinental Lightweight title; Frankie Gavin’s WBO Intercontinental Welterweight title defence against Curtis Woodhouse, plus a top quality undercard.
Tickets, priced at £50, £80 and £100, are available on 0844 8000 400 or www.echoarena.com