New York, NY (5/23/13) - On March 30, top-rated light heavyweight contender Isaac "Golden Boy" Chilemba (20-1-2, 9KO's) and reigning WBC silver light heavyweight champion Tony Bellew (19-1-1, 12KO's) battled to a 12-round split decision draw in Bellew's backyard of Liverpool. Now, the two combatants are set to go at it again this Saturday night, on the undercard of the much anticipated rematch between defending IBF super middleweight champion Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler at the beautiful O2 Arena in London. The bout, promoted by Matchroom Sport, in association with DiBella Entertainment, is scheduled for 12 rounds and will once again be for Bellew's WBC Silver light heavyweight title.
"I am sharper, stronger and definitely healthier this time around," said WBC #3, IBF #9, and WBO #9-rated Chilemba. "I will adjust and do whatever is necessary to beat him and bring the victory home. The changes that I made this time were mostly to do with my approach to the camp and keeping healthy. Buddy has made a few changes in the ring with me as well."
In their first bout, Chilemba got off to a slow start, allowing Bellew to take the early rounds behind a loudly partisan hometown crowd. Chilemba picked up the pace in the fifth frame, and after the sixth, trainer Buddy McGirt gave Chilemba an earful in the corner, stating, "You can't keep backing up, you can't win like that."
Chilemba followed instructions and began pressing the action and controlling the pace of the fight behind his jab, frustrating Bellew and silencing the sold-out crowd in the process.
In the end, the bout was ruled a draw with one judge scoring 116-112 for Chilemba, the other tallying 116-115 for Bellew, and the third having it even at 114-114. Now the two are set to begin round 13, in what promises to be a huge night of boxing in the U.K.
"I feel like I've already beaten Tony, but apparently that wasn't enough, so this time I am getting in the ring with full intentions of surpassing my last performance. If Tony thought he had it tough in our last bout, then he better be ready this time around because he is in for the fight of his life."