Tony Bellew got past Isaac Chilemba this time out, winning an unanimous decision in London, on scores of 116-112, 116-112, and 117-112. BLH had it 116-112 for Chilemba, but let's talk about that first.
- I don't want to put the idea out there that I think Chilemba (20-2-2, 9 KO) has been robbed. That's not my feeling. I thought he nicked a lot of close rounds that could conceivably gone to Bellew. Basically, as I look over my card, I think there were 5 clear for Chilemba, 4 clear for Bellew, and three toss-up rounds. I gave those toss-up rounds to Chilemba, because I just thought he landed the better quality shots. (By the way, there is no worse punch stat recording in the sport than Sky's counting. It's absurd.)
- I'll watch it again. I may have been off. It happens. My Twitter timeline was about 60-40 in favor of Bellew, and most scores were 116-112 either way, it seemed. As Ryan Bivins said at one point during the bout, "It was that kind of fight."
- I don't have a problem with Bellew (20-1-1, 12 KO) winning the fight. It's not like I thought Chilemba was a no-doubter here. His performance wasn't exactly spectacular. I just felt he deserved the win.
Anyway, all that nonsense aside, here's Just the Facts: Bellew is now in prime position to face the winner of the June 8 fight between Chad Dawson and Adonis Stevenson for Dawson's WBC light heavyweight title. I'm not sure it's yet a true mandatory, as this fight wasn't sanctioned as an eliminator, but the WBC could easily appoint Bellew as the mandatory if they choose to do so. There's also a good chance, if it happens this way, that Bellew could get Dawson to come to the UK for the fight. Chad and his team know that he's not a draw. That fight is definitely biggest in the UK.
Can Bellew beat Dawson if that's the fight that comes up? Can he beat Stevenson? And even if it's more "significant"the way we see things now, wouldn't you rather see Bellew-Stevenson than Bellew-Dawson?