MICHAEL PEARLMAN SAYS: Why should Cleverly fight Bellew again?
10:31am Tuesday 10th December 2013 in Sport
AS you know, this column positively bristles when stupid and downright ridiculous nonsense is spouted by boxers.
The boxer is without question the most unique animal a sports' journalist will ever encounter.
There are footballers and golfers and athletes and others that you can build a rapport with, maybe even a friendly relationship, and any football writer worth his salt will always have the ear of managers and boardroom members.
But your relationship with a boxer is different. Boxing is a minority sport, or so they say, but it is without question a sport that knows it needs to promote itself 24/7.
You’ll largely only ever talk to a footballer at scheduled times under semi-regulated circumstances, but a boxer is different.
You’ll visit gyms and you’ll talk on the phone, often off the record and often for many hours. You’ll see them at their bravest and best and all that contrasts that. The lows are excruciating. Being in a dressing room post fight watching a fighter deal with mental and physical anguish is a difficult experience.
In Gwent, being a boxing writer for the past decade has been as privileged a position as any in Britain. From Joe Calzaghe onwards, I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with several top boxers indeed.
Virtually all of them are lovely people and that list most certainly includes Nathan Cleverly, whose career I’ve covered from debut to the present day.
Never once in hours and hours of his company have I seen him be anything less than an ambassador for his sport.
Which is why I hope he never contemplates fighting Tony Bellew again.
Bellew caught my attention this week by calling out Cleverly (after a loss) and stating that: "There's no two ways about it, I detest him and he doesn't like me, so it's going to happen.”
What a load of rubbish. What foolish words to apply to a fellow warrior in the ring. Detest? For what possible reason?
Cleverly beat Bellew decisively in Liverpool with a backdrop of baying Bellew fans booing him out of the building. What more does he need to prove? Short of staging the fight in the Bellew family home, I don’t see where we really go next with this one.
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