Home News Bellew vs. Chilemba results: Disappointing draw verdict

Bellew vs. Chilemba results: Disappointing draw verdict

Credit: Lawrence Lustig

Last night saw Tony Bellew and Isaac Chilemba draw in their WBC eliminator contest. In a match that failed to live up to its pre-fight buzz the judges scored the encounter 116-112 to Chilemba, 116-115 to Bellew and a 114-114 draw.

Credit: Lawrence Lustig
Credit: Lawrence Lustig

In the immediate aftermath Bellew told the ringside cameras “I’m going to be totally honest – I thought I won that fight. I thought I won nine of the 12 rounds.” However, if truth be told, Bellew failed to capitalize on his opportunities and was arguably lucky to come away with the draw.

In front of his home crowd, it was Bellew who started the quicker of the two, as he looked to box on the front foot and push Chilemba up against the ropes. However, despite the Liverpudlian having the better of the opening exchanges he failed to land any meaningful shots with the Malawian’s slick style keeping him out of trouble.

By the mid rounds, Chilemba had begun to feel his way into the fight, catching the local hero with a number of counters and slowly taking control of the center of the ring as the pace of the fight slowed. With the noise levels already dropping the crowd was nearly silenced in the 7th when the visitor landed a sweet right straight, the first meaningful shot of the fight, but Bellew took the shot well.

Bellew was again caught with a right hand in the 8th and was being hit all to easily, although it was clear the Malawian’s shots were doing little damage. With the bout pretty evenly poised going into the championship rounds, the fight was there for whoever wanted it the most. Chilemba was the one who seemed to realize this as he looked to have edged the following rounds to leave Bellew requiring a KO in the 12th if he wanted to claim the victory.

Coming out of the corner for the last time, Bellew tried revving up the crowd for the final 3 minutes and they duly obliged.  The added support saw Bellew go on the offensive and claim the round, but not the KO which would secure the victory, with the final decision lying with the judges. Ultimately, the judges couldn’t separate the two in what had been a close fight, although you get the feeling if it hadn’t been in Liverpool, Chilemba probably would have taken the decision.

In the chief support bout Derry Mathews and Anthony Crolla also drew in a battle for the vacant commonwealth lightweight title. In a rematch of their 2012 Fight of the Year, arguments for both men winning could be made, with a draw probably the fairest result.

Mathews started the fight the sharper as he looked to take the fight to Crolla, and claimed the opening rounds in large part due to his busier work rate. The middle rounds followed in similar fashion with Mathews the aggressor but failing to land quality shots as Crolla boxed cleverly and stayed out of trouble.

Despite Crolla being the man who was landing the better shots Mathews work rate and aggression meant that Crolla would need a strong finish to claim anything from the fight. Sensing he needed to up his game Crolla went on the offensive and immediately had success, as he began tagging the visibly tired Mathews.

The final two rounds saw the fight burst into life with both men looking for the punch to end the evening. However, it was Crolla who finished the stronger catching Mathews with a number of body shots and a dangerous right hook, but Mathews showed his grit to see out the fight. With the final bell having sounded this spectator couldn’t separate the duo and neither could the judges who scored the bout 115-113 Mathews, 115-113 Crolla, and 115 apiece.

Although it didn’t match the excitement of their first fight their was enough intensity and drama to warrant a third showdown and Crolla for one seemed keen on the prospect. “Me and Derry both thought we’d done enough to win it, so the best way to find out is for us to do it all again,” he said after the fight.

Elsewhere on the card, Rocky Fielding produced arguably the performance of the evening with his 6th round stoppage win over Wayne Reed. The Liverpudlian super middleweight, who was defending his English title for the first time, scored a knock-down in the fourth round before sending Reed to the canvas twice more in the sixth. First with a beautifully timed right uppercut and then with a left hook to the body, with Reed struggling to get back to his feet the ref waved off proceeding after 1:19 of the round.

Callum Smith also impressed as he dropped Ian Jackson twice in the first round of their supper middleweight bout. With Smith in complete control Jackson’s corner decided to retire their man at the end of the first round with Smith moving to 4-0.

Our British prospect of the year Kal Yafai also maintained his perfect record as he scored a wide unanimous decision win against Michael Ramabeletsa despite hurting his bicep in the second round.