The consensus was that Tony Bellew was extremely fortunate to escape the Echo Arena with a draw in his WBC Light-Heavyweight eliminator against Isaac Chilemba.
The home fighter is 8/15 to get the job done this time, though on the evidence of their first bout one would expect Chilemba to garner much support at 13/8. Another draw can be taken at 20s.
Bellew’s punches were awfully wayward for the duration of the fight, and he was exposed by a more agile and accurate opponent. It was also reported that his opponent was suffering from flu on the morning of the fight, further damaging his claims this time around – his chances in a title fight with Chad Dawson, should they materialise, would be bleak to say the least.
The Liverpudlian enjoyed the backing of a rambunctiously partisan crowd, and whether he retains such a level of support at London’s O2 Arena may play a role in determining the outcome of the rematch.
Neither Bellew (19-1-1, 12ko), nor Chilemba (20-1-2, 9ko) have ever been stopped, suggesting this rematch will see its full allocation of rounds.
Chilemba is 12/5 to win by decision, while. Bellew is 11/8 to do the same.
With both fighters possessing a wealth of 12-round bouts under their belts, Ladbrokes’ Final Judegment market should enjoy much business.
11 of Chilemba’s 20 victories have gone to the cards, with eight of those coming via unanimous decision, suggesting that Bellew will have to make some significant improvements from his last fight to appeal to the scorers here; there are those who doubt he has the capacity to do so.
Chilemba is 4/1 to achieve a Unanimous Decision here, with Bellew 2/1 to do the same.
Fans of ‘The Bomber’ will hope to see their man live up to his nickname, and can get 5/2 on a knockout victory. However, should the Everton fan look to end the fight early, he may risk getting caught; a stoppage win for Chilemba is an 8/1 shot.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing