WBC Silver light heavyweight champion Tony Bellew (20-1-1, 12 KO’s) did enough tonight to get a 12 round unanimous decision over Isaac Chilemba (20-2-1, 9 KO’s) at the O2 Arena in London, UK. The final judges scores were 116-112, 117-112 and 116-112.
Bellew gave up his height and reach by choosing to fight on the inside for 12 rounds, and he spent the last six rounds just holding onto Chilemba, putting him in headlocks and shoving him every now and them. I lost track of all the times Bellew missed with his punches. He fought like he was swinging with his eyes close.
Bellew had problems with his left eye in the 4th round after taking a shot to the eye. However, he was able to fight through the pain and continue to clinch and push forward to wrestle on the inside.
It’s still difficult to understand why Bellew spent so much time wrestling instead of punching. He had the power advantage, yet he looked so tired after just four rounds. He was so exhausted. All the missed punches seemed to take a lot out of Bellew causing him to clinch even more in the 2nd half of the fight.
A bitter Bellew said after the fight “All you people who doubted me on twitter, stick it up your ass.”
Bellew’s promoter Eddie Hearn said after the fight that Bellew will now fight the winner of the Chad Dawson vs. Adonis Stevenson fight. Based on how poorly Bellew fought tonight, I think he’d be way, way out of his element against either Dawson or Stevenson. Those guys are so much better than Bellew, especially Stevenson. Bellew can’t clinch his way to a victory over those guys.