In 2011, Nathan Cleverly retained his light heavyweight world title by majority decision against Tony Bellew in Liverpool, England in a terrific and closely contested fight. Many thought Bellew had done enough to win, but Cleverly got the nod on scores of 117-112, 116-113 and 114-114.
There has been talk of a rematch since, although each man went on separate paths.
Cleverly made three more title defenses before getting waxed by Sergey Kovalev in the fourth round last August. Then Cleverly moved up to cruiserweight, where he debuted in May and knocked out Shawn Corbin in the second round, as expected.
Bellew eventually got another title shot but got crushed by Adonis Stevenson in a sixth-round knockout loss in November. Like Cleverly, Bellew also moved up to cruiserweight and stopped Valery Brudov in the 12th round in March.
Now Wales' Cleverly (27-1, 13 KOs) and Bellew (21-2-1, 13 KOs), of England, are being positioned for the rematch that needs to happen. They are going to appear on the same July 12 card in separate bouts at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. With victories, their rematch is ticketed for the fall.
Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn has not announced their opponents yet.
"There's real animosity between Tony and Nathan as they aim to overcome one final hurdle before they meet in October," Hearn said.
Also on the card, 2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Anthony Joshua (6-0, 6 KOs) of England will step up in competition and take on former world title challenger Matt Skelton (28-8, 23 KOs).