Bellew vs Chilemba The Rematch – Who will adjust best?

By Niall Doran

Bellew vs Chilemba is the chief support to Carl Froch vs Mikkel Kessler this Saturday at the O2 in London, they will lock horns for a second time in again what will be a final eliminator for the right to fight the WBC light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson.

I can’t recall a time in boxing at least in modern times, where an immediate rematch was ordered so soon for a high level world title eliminator. Their last fight was only two months ago, and credit must surely go to both fighters for wanting the immediate rematch and to Eddie Hearn for putting it on in such a fast turn around.

The last fight was a bit of a let down I felt. As a massive fan of Bellew I just felt his performance did not match his epic build up talk before the fight when he was promising to leave everything in the ring in order to get the win. Chilemba also to be fair proved to be a much tougher fighter than most people thought he would be. His slippery and tricky style did not gel well with the Bomber’s and hopefully this time round fans can expect something more entertaining.

Although the last fight was scored a draw I had Chilemba winning by a point and I think both men will be ultra motivated this time round to ensure there can be no doubt left in the judges eyes. Stylistically both fighters seemed to cancel each other out a bit in their first encounter, but for me the main thing that let Bellew down was his stamina. I remember Bellew after about the 7th round seemed to drastically take his foot off the gas and let Chilemba right back in the fight. Prior to that I had Bellew ahead by a couple of rounds but just thought the work done by Chilemba in the latter part of the fight was maybe just enough to nick it for him, then again a draw may have been a fair result too.

I think sometimes Tony’s problem is that he almost puts too much pressure on himself. I mean it’s great to see a fighter really up for a fight but I just wonder sometimes does the incredible pressure Bellew put’s on himself maybe have a slightly counter productive effect and drain him his energy stores going into a fight? In the last fight with Chilemba, Bellew was quoted constantly mentioning his family as his motivation and being willing to die in the ring to secure the win. Again I think this type of motivation is great but maybe he just needs to learn to channel it a little better perhaps, maybe just learn to save all that emotion and energy for fight day itself as opposed to various interviews leading up to the fight. Just a thought.

For me I can see Bellew vs Chilemba being another close fight going to the scorecards. Although Bellew is a big puncher, Chilemba proved he could take his shots in the last fight and showed he could negate them too with his slippery defense. However this is boxing, where one punch can end a night for anyone fighting at this elite level that these two primed pugilists find themselves competing in on Saturday night.

My prediction – Bellew by unanimous decision in a higher paced similar style fight to the last.

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