British boxer Tony Bellew has admitted that his career was on the line when he faced South Africa based Malawian Isaac Chilemba in a rematch two weeks ago.
The two boxers drew in controversial circumstances late March but the Briton bounced back in fine style to beat the 26-year-old Chilemba on points at the 02 Arena on May 25.
Bellew has told Ringside that his victory over Isaac Chilemba saved him from a possible career meltdown.
Bellew revealed that he would have struggled to step back between the ropes had he lost to the Malawian.
“Everything was on the line [against Chilemba] and I would go as far as to say that if it didn’t go well that night, I don’t know if I could have got back in the ring,” said Bellew, whose only career defeat came in 2011 at the hands of fellow Brit Nathan Cleverly.
“I bullied Chilemba and proved that I am a better fighter than him.”
Bellew said he camped for 12 weeks in preparation for the rematch.
“Going through a camp for 12 weeks, having three days off and then going through another 10-week camp emotionally and physi- cally breaks you, while I also read and listened to everything the doubters had said.
“But I kept my head down until the fight and it felt like mission complete when I’d won – and I was really happy with the way I did the job second time around to get rid of Chilemba. I made him angrier than before, bullied him, roughed him up and dealt with him in every minute of every round – and proved that I am a better fighter than him.”
But Chilemba has disputed Bellew’s claims that he is better than him.
“Bellew isn’t a good fighter. I was just off on the night,” Chilemba said. – By Joy Ndovi