The scales are seemingly tipping in Isaac Chilemba’s favour as his opponent in Saturday’s fight, Anthony Bellew, has admitted that his performance was below par after being slammed by his promoter.
Both boxers are awaiting a World Boxing Council’s (WBC) ruling on their stalemate in the light-heavyweight final eliminator which was staged at Liverpool’s Echo Arena.
In the latest twist to the 12-rounder, Bellew’s promoter Eddie Hearn has told Espn that the Englishman was not ready to face WBC light-heavyweight title holder Chad Dawson.
“I had it very close. I thought Bellew could have done more. On that performance, maybe he is not ready for Dawson right now. Maybe he has to learn more. Chilemba was very clever, slick, fast, difficult to nail,” Hearn is quoted as saying on www.espn.co.uk/boxing/sport/story.
Having insisted that he was the deserved winner against the Malawian, Bellew now admits struggling in the fight whose winner will face Dawson.
“I want an immediate rematch. I’m willing to get right back in with him. I’d do it right now. I know there’s mistakes that I made, but that rests on my shoulders—I made those mistakes and I know I could have done more,” he told Espn.
“He had a good round, it gave him a bit of momentum and he really started to come into the fight. That’s my fault. You can’t make excuses at this level and I could have done more. I didn’t go through the gears in the way I should have done. I’m learning, but I’m learning at the highest level,” Bellew added.
The South Africa-based Chilemba (25) has since told the BBC Radio that he wants the rematch to take place outside of the UK, accusing the judges of making a hometown decision.
WBC is expected to decide on Saturday’s 12-rounder after judge Christophe Fernandez scored the fight 116-112 in Chilemba’s favour, with Eddie Pappoe feeling Bellew won by scoring 116-115. Fabian Guggenheim recorded the fight 114-114.