Bellew’s revenge on Cleverly after majority points win

Boxing: Tony Bellew paid tribute to bitter rival Nathan Cleverly after gaining revenge with a majority points win in their cruiserweight fight at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

Three years after dropping an equally tight decision in a bid for Cleverly’s WBO light-heavyweight title, the home favourite outworked the Welshman over the final rounds to gain the verdict 116-112 and 115-113 on two judges’ cards, with a third voting 115-114 to Cleverly.

Bellew, who moved into world cruiserweight title contention in the process, revealed there was still no love lost between the pair after an acrimonious build-up to the bout.

He said: “I don’t like him but I respect him and I’ve over-worked a great athlete over 12 rounds.”

Anthony Joshua is set for a significant step up in class after taking just one minute and 26 seconds to dispatch veteran Michael Sprott.

The Olympic champion caught Sprott with a series of 17 unanswered blows to prompt the intevention of referee Terry O’Connor and earn his 10th professional win.

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