Boxing weekend prediction: Cleverly to beat Bellew

We highlight the fights to watch this weekend and bring you our prediction for Nathan Cleverly v Tony Bellew

By Mike Pope

Prediction: Nathan Cleverly to beat Tony Bellew by late knockout

Despite fighting in his opponents’ home town of Liverpool, Welsh valley boy Cleverly will show his class by thoroughly out-boxing Bellew. It has been forgotten amongst all the hype and talk about how much “needle” there is between the two fighters that Bellew is a very limited fighter. He has decent punching power but his footwork is poor and he a not nearly as athletically gifted as his Welsh opponent. Cleverly has been in the ring with more fighters, faced a greater variety of styles – and has always won. The Welshman has underrated power himself despite only stopping half his opponents and he will knock out Bellew late on in the fight. Cleverly will box clever from distance early on as he avoids his opponents’ wild punches. He’ll then dictate the fight from the middle rounds onwards as his superior boxing ability becomes apparent. Expect the referee to step in the later rounds and bring an end to the bout as Bellew takes an increasing level of punishment.

Prediction: Bernard Hopkins to beat Chad Dawson by split decision

The 46-year-old Hopkins will have to use all his experience to beat his 29-year-old opponent on Saturday night. Dawson is faster, stronger and bigger than Hopkins and should beat him easily, yet as always when the man from Philadelphia is involved, no one is sure of the outcome. Dawson is the better athlete, with all the ability to win this fight, however, he has shown in the past that he makes things difficult for himself. If Dawson can concrete for 12 rounds, he will walk away with a convincing majority decision, but this seems unlikely. Expect to Hopkins lose the first couple of rounds but then begin to assert his style onto the fight. Hopkins will rough up Dawson on the inside with rabbit punches and head roles and the like, everything he can that is just about legal. Once Dawson is ruffled, Hopkins will begin to counter-punch his opponent, make him look bad and bring the fight to his level, nullifying his opponents’ superior boxing ability and style. If this happens expect a similar fight to Hopkins’ second battle against Jean Pascal five months ago, when he earned a close decision victory.

Friday 14 October 2011

Jonathan Barros v Celestino Caballero
Buenos Aires, Argentina
12 rounds featherweight for Barros’ WBA title

Saturday 15 October 2011

Hugo Ruiz v Francisco Arce
Loc Mochis, Mexico
12 rounds bantamweight

Nathan Cleverly v Tony Bellew
Liverpool, England
12 rounds light heavyweight for Cleverly’s WBO title

Piotr Wilczewski v James DeGale
Liverpool, England
12 rounds super middleweight for Wilczewski’s European title

Bernard Hopkins v Chad Dawson
Los Angeles, USA
12 rounds light heavyweight for Hopkins’ Ring and WBC titles

Antonio DeMarco v Jorge Linares
Los Angeles, USA
12 rounds light middleweight for vacant WBC title

Danny Garcia v Kendal Holt
Los Angeles, USA
12 rounds light welterweight

Paulie Malignaggi v Orlando Lora
Los Angeles, USA
12 rounds welterweight

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