Tony Bellew came into today's rematch with Ovill McKenzie as the Commonwealth light heavyweight champion, and left with that belt and the British title, but overall he disappointed with a lousy, dull performance in a fight that put the hometown Liverpool crowd to sleep.
Bellew (16-0, 10 KO) won on scores of 118-111, 118-111 and 119-110. Bad Left Hook scored it 118-113 for Bellew, marking the first time I have ever scored three even rounds in one fight. There was simply nothing going on over the 12 rounds of nothing in this one, as Bellew had delusions of a "masterclass" performance, when in reality he was simply doing just enough to not lose rounds, but barely anything to win them. And to Bellew's credit, it's not as though McKenzie (18-11, 7 KO) did much either, but then McKenzie isn't trying to land a charity world title shot, either. He's just a mediocre domestic fighter and nobody is pretending differently.
Bellew celebrated pretty extensively for a fighter who landed 78 of 392 punches, with screams in the ring that were all too audible considering it's a good attendance for the show. McKenzie landed just 36 of 361 punches over the 12 rounds.
As for Bellew getting a title shot, the reality is he can move tickets, and Nathan Cleverly wouldn't exactly be harmed by what would effectively be an easy fight for him. Cleverly vs Bellew may not be attractive after today's performance by Bellew, but if it can sell a house, Frank Warren will put it on.
Also on the undercard today, Frankie Gavin had a slow start and barely got past Curtis Woodhouse in a welterweight 12-round, marking the prospect's second straight iffy performance. Scores were 117-112 and 116-113 for Gavin, and 115-114 for Woodhouse. Gavin is now 11-0 (8 KO), but his stock as a prospect is dropping like a rock right now. Woodhouse falls to 15-3 (10 KO).
We'll have more coverage from this card, with the live thread here, and the double main event still to come.