Bellew and Cleverly remain on collision course after KO wins
Tony Bellew and Nathan Cleverly remained on course for a rematch later this year as both claimed impressive victories on Saturday night at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
Cleverly beat Bellew on a majority decision when the pair met for the WBO light-heavyweight title in 2011.
Former world title challenger Bellew (22-2-1, 14 KOs), inflicted a first stoppage defeat on Brazilian Julio Cesar Dos Santos (26-3, 23 KOs) after an explosive fifth round KO in a cruiserweight bout.
A left hand to the head sent Dos Santos to the canvas and, although the South American managed to beat the count, he remained unsteady on his feet and the fight was waved off.
"I was trying to set him up for the perfect shot and boy did I set him up nicely," said Bellew. "He traded left hooks with me and that's one thing you don't do. It's simple: if you do, you're going to sleep."
On the prospect of another fight against Cleverly, Bellew said: "I'm fat, ready and handsome... We both know deep down that I was dead on the scales (in 2011). The tables have turned."
Cleverly (28-1, 14 KOs) had earlier made his second appearance since moving up a weight division.
The Welshman, who lost his world title to Sergey Kovalev last August, stopped Alejandro Valori in the fourth round.
The Argentinian was down in the second round after taking a left hook to the body and Cleverly finished things off with another left early in the fourth.
"I think that's the perfect second fight at cruiserweight," said Cleverly. "It was the same at light-heavyweight where I went through British, Commonwealth, European to the world title. I breezed through those levels with eight straight knockouts when I moved up in weight.
"The same is going to happen at cruiserweight. Bit by bit we're going to increase the level. This is easy for me, let's step it up now in the next fight - you know what's going to happen with that guy from Liverpool."
Also on the card, 2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Anthony Joshua (7-0, 7 KOs) quickly annihilated 47-year-old Matt Skelton (28-9, 23 KOs). Joshua dropped Skelton twice in round two and the bout was waved off.
Other results on the card:
Rocky Fielding W Noe Gonzalez Alcoba TKO 5
Callum Smith W Vladine Biosse UD 10
Stephen Smith W Pedro Navarrete PTS 8
John Quigley W Ian Bailey PTS 8
Luke Campbell W Craig Woodruff PTS 6
Tommy Martin W Ainsley Seivwright PTS 6
Anthony Ogogo W Wayne Reed TKO 5
Gamal Yafai W Reynaldo Cajina PTS 4