Bellew held to frustrating draw
Tony Bellew was left disappointed with a draw after the judges could not find anything between the WBC Silver light-heavyweight champion and Isaac Chilemba over 12 gruelling rounds in Liverpool.
It was hard work for Bellew, who struggled to break down the resilient Chilemba and claim victory in the final eliminator to decide the mandatory challenger to WBC light-heavyweight champion Chad Dawson.
In a highly strung opening five rounds, 'Bomber' started strongly in his attack throwing more punches than his Malawian opponent. Bellew lead with his head at the sound of the first bell, as Chilemba tried to rile the 30-year-old Liverpudlian in front of the partisan crowd.
Reigning Commonwealth champion Bellew continued on the front foot, but Chilemba slowly grew in response landing a number of body shots to seize momentum. A strong right hander on the bell of the fifth round from Bellew sparked the Liverpool Echo arena into life, before Chilemba responded once more with two left handers and a series of well-timed shots to dictate the closing rounds.
Bellew replied with a strong assault in the final round to leave the verdict to the judges, who could not separate the pair after the final bell.
Derry Mathews and Anthony Crolla produced a stunning 12-round display with the judges not being able to separate the pair, declaring a draw in the bout for the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title.
The opening five rounds saw little between the pair, before Mathews seized momentum with two solid punches in the sixth. A huge right hander in the ninth round from 'Dirty' drew a smile of acknowledgement from Crolla, before the Manchester-fighter responded accordingly with a multitude of body shots to edge the last four rounds and force a stalemate.
Rocky Fielding successfully defended his English super-middleweight title against Wayne Reed with a flowing performance in front of his home crowd. Former Prizefighter champion Fielding made it 13 fights unbeaten with a sixth round stoppage of Reed, flooring the Sheffield fighter with a huge left hook to retain his title.