Angry Bellew tells Chilemba: Your trainer said I won
Tony Bellew sat directly alongside Isaac Chilemba and told him his own trainer felt the Brit had won after the pair fought to a frustrating draw on Saturday.
Bellew and Chilemba battled it out for the right to challenge for the WBC light-heavyweight title at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, but after 12 tight rounds the judges rendered a 116-112 115-116 114-114 decision.
Bellew's feelings were clear from the moment the opening score of 116-112 was read out in Chilemba's favour. He felt he was the clear winner, insisting he had taken nine of the 12 rounds.
"I'm going to be totally honest - I thought I won that fight. I thought I won nine of the 12 rounds," Bellew told Sky Sports.
"I took a stupid round off in round six or seven and I let him gain a bit of momentum and get back into the fight. But I thought I won the fight.
"Buddy McGirt (Chilemba's trainer) just told me, 'I think you got it'. That's a very knowledgeable man, a man I respect in boxing. His opinion was, 'Going into the last round Tone, I think you got it'. I don't know what to say."
Quizzed on one of the judges' decision to award the fight to Chilemba by four rounds, Bellew replied: "What's he been watching? It's insane. His own trainer told me, 'I think you've done enough'.
"I thought I'd done enough. No question about it."
Chilemba then joined Bellew and disputed the call, insisting he had dominated the fight. Both men expressed respect for one another, but they clearly disagreed over who should be heading for a showdown with Chad Dawson.
"I'm not happy. I did the best I can, everybody here witnessed what I did, I deserved victory," Chilemba said. "From the fifth round to the last round I dominated the fight, maybe I lost two or three rounds.
"I don't understand why they made it a draw. I know it's a home decision, I've got a lot of respect for Tony, but I believe I was the man of the night."
Bellew was then asked if he would do a rematch, but the Brit was keen to address Chilemba's claim of victory: "If the WBC say so, then so be it," he said of the rematch. "But your trainer told me that you lost the fight. I won the fight and deep down you know that too."