Cleverly signs with Matchroom

27/03/2014 23:40

Nathan Cleverly has completed a shock move to Matchroom Sport.

The former world champion had worked with promoter Frank Warren since he turned professional in 2005, but has joined Eddie Hearn's growing stable ahead of a comeback fight in Cardiff on May 17.

Cleverly has stepped up to cruiserweight after Sergey Kovalev ripped away his WBO light-heavyweight title with a fourth-round stoppage defeat in August.

He is yet to learn his opponent, but victory will keep Cleverly on course for a rematch with Tony Bellew, another Hearn fighter, who made his cruiserweight debut this month with a knockout win over Valery Brudov.

The pair have swapped insults since Cleverly claimed a points win over his bitter rival in 2011.

"It's chapter two for me. I've had a bit of time off and I decided to team up with Eddie," said Cleverly.

"Matchroom and Sky Sports is the place to be to get back to the top and I can't wait to get back in there - let's bring it on."

Reflecting on a possible second bout with Bellew, Cleverly said: "I think it's inevitable. We're both on a collision course, we're now in the same weight division.

"We've already had one great fight, which was an entertaining, crowd pleasing fight, so I think the fight fans want to see it. Bellew wants the fight, I want the rematch as well. Even though I won the first fight, I'm prepared to give him a rematch. I'm sure we'll get it on."

The Motorpoint Arena bill will also feature Lee Selby, who is edging closer to a world title shot, and Hearn hopes to land a WBC final eliminator for the talented featherweight.

"I'm so close to achieving my dream of being WBC champion," said Selby.

"I think I am good enough to hold my own with any featherweight in the world, but I want to win the title and defend it, so that's the goal that we are building towards."

Welsh duo Gavin Rees and Gary Buckland will meet again following their thrilling lightweight clash in February.

Buckland battled to a close points win, but it was hard to split the two men and they have agreed to a rematch.

Excited super-middleweight Callum Smith faces Prizefighter finalist Tobias Webb on the undercard, while middleweight Andy Lee, a former world title contender, returns to action in Wales.

"I'm delighted to be back in Wales after the huge success of our February show," said promoter Eddie Hearn.

"It's great to be teaming up with Nathan Cleverly and Lee Selby is now on the verge of a world title shot, so it's a huge night for both men.

"The first instalment of Buckland vs Rees was a Fight of the Year contender and I take my hat off to both men for going at it again."