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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Chilemba to Face Bellew

Light heavyweight Isaac Chilemba will face fellow contender Tony Bellew in Liverpool, England on March 30. This fight is a title eliminator with the winner potentially having a shot at Chad Dawson, the recognized true light heavyweight champion of the world. That, of course, assumes Dawson avenges his loss to Jean Pascal on March 23.

This bout features two world class fighters. Chilemba (20-1-1, 9 KOs) is rated seventh in the division by The Ring and eighth by the Transnational Boxing Rankings. Bellew (19-1, 12 KOs) is ninth on both lists. Both men defeated world title challenger Edison Miranda in 2012. Chilemba did so in February by unanimous decision while Bellew stopped Miranda in the ninth round back in September.

Chilemba hasn't lost a fight since 2007. His draw came in a 2010 bout with Thomas Oosthuizen, who is rated fourth by The Ring and sixth by the TBR at super middleweight. Bellew's lone loss came at the hands of beltholder Nathan Cleverly, who is ranked as the fourth best light heavyweight by The Ring and the fifth by the TBR.

Bellew will hold a slight height and a heavy hometown advantage, but Chilemba is five years younger. Despite his youthful exuberance, Isaac isn't taking Bellew lightly. He told his Twitter followers, "Tony Bellew is a good fighter and is what I need. I have to take on the best to be the best." About fighting in Bellew's hometown, the "Golden Boy" told World Boxing News that he "can't wait to fight there."

For his part, Bellew wrote on Twitter, "This is gonna be the toughest fight of my career! Anyone who knows boxing knows that Chilemba is a world class fighter!"

This contest is slated for twelve rounds.

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