Nathan Cleverly & Tony Bellew win to set up "grudge" match
Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew look set for a "grudge" cruiserweight clash in November after both claimed knockout wins in Liverpool.
The potential bout promises to be a fearsome affair with Bellew taunting the onlooking Cleverly after beating Julio Cesar Dos Santos.
The Welsh fighter had earlier stopped Alejandro Emilio Valori.
Elsewhere, emerging talent Anthony Joshua beat veteran Matt Skelton inside two rounds in a heavyweight bout.
Both Cleverly and Bellew have moved up to cruiserweight this year and have talked about their dislike for each other, and now look set to face off in a re-match of their WBO light-heavyweight title match which Cleverly won in 2011.
The war of words between the pair started as soon as Bellew had knocked out Dos Santos in the fifth round of his WBO international cruiserweight title contest.
The 31-year-old celebrated in the direction of his rival, shouting "you're next", and then said: "I'm now an established pro, I'm not a plastic world champion. I just want to hurt you."
Cleverly responded: "I've come to his home town and already beaten him. This time it will be emphatic, I will damage him. I will spank him again."
The 27-year-old knocked Valori down in the second round before the referee pulled the Argentine out after he was floored again in the fourth.
"This was class C for me but next fight it will be fireworks with that guy from Liverpool," said Cleverly, addressing the home crowd.
Joshua, the 24-year-old who won super-heavyweight gold in London 2012, landed a series of heavy blows on 47-year-old Skelton before the referee stopped the fight in the second round.
"It was a good name on the record," he said. "The game plan worked and I'm learning."
Earlier London 2012 bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo made it seven wins from seven professional fights as he beat Wayne Reed with a fifth-round stoppage.
Reed, 26, was always second best and was finished off by a series of heavy blows in the penultimate round.
"I used the little experience I have got in my career to take my time but I'm glad a stoppage came," said Ogogo, 25.
Local boy Stephen Smith beat Mexican Pedro Navarrete on points in an eight-round lightweight contest, but admitted the fight was "flat".
He told Sky Sports: "If world champions were watching, they would not have been worried."
Another home fighter, Rocky Fielding, claimed the WBA intercontinental super-middleweight title by stopping Uruguay's Noe Gonzalez Alcoba in the fifth round.
Hull's Luke Campbell enjoyed a successful return to the ring as he beat Welshman Craig Woodruff on points in a lightweight bout. It was Campbell's first fight since February, when he took time off to spend with his family after his father was diagnosed with cancer.
Callum Smith saw his run of nine straight knockout wins end, but he was able to retain his WBC international super-middleweight title with a unanimous decision over Vladine Biosse.