- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Light heavyweight mandatory challenger Tony Bellew has been assured by a sanctioning organization that he will get his title shot before the end of the year.
England’s Bellew is the mandatory for champion Adonis Stevenson, but Stevenson has been granted an exception to face former titlist Tavoris Cloud in a fight that is being finalized and supposed to take place Sept. 28 on HBO at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Bellew is supposed to get the next crack at the winner.
According to Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, Bellew’s promoter, the target date for Bellew’s title opportunity is Nov. 30, which happens to be Bellew’s 31st birthday. Bellew (20-1-1, 12 KOs) became the mandatory by outpointing Isaac Chilemba in their May rematch in London.
“I am delighted Tony has got the shot -- and what a perfect potential date for it,” Hearn said. “Tony has worked tirelessly to get a second crack at a world title, and he’s ready to claim it now. What a dream birthday present it will be when he does.”
Bellew’s only loss came in 2011, a majority decision against light heavyweight titlist Nathan Cleverly in a close fight.