Hearn: Bellew not ready for Chad Dawson
Tony Bellew is not ready to challenge for Chad Dawson's world title, according to his own promoter Eddie Hearn.
Bellew blew his big chance on Saturday, failing to stamp his mark against Isaac Chilemba despite having the advantage of a passionate home crowd in his favour.
The duo came away with a draw following a bout that showcased a sloppy side to Bellew's game, after he started quickly but allowed Chilemba back into the fight. Bellew claimed at the final bell he was a clear winner, but later confessed he made plenty of mistakes.
Victory was meant to book him a date with WBC light-heavyweight champion Dawson - assuming Dawson overcomes Adonis Stevenson later this year, but it appears Bellew will have to rematch Chilemba before he can get to the champ.
Hearn believes that might be a good thing for the Brit based on Saturday's night's performance.
"I had it very close," Hearn said. "I thought Bellew could have done more. On that performance, maybe he is not ready for Dawson right now. Maybe he has to learn more. Chilemba was very clever, slick, fast, difficult to nail."
Bellew has already called for the rematch to happen, and Chilemba is willing to accept - although there is one major caveat. Chilemba wants the sequel to take place outside of the UK.
"I really would like to have a rematch, too," he said. "I don't want it to happen here in Liverpool. I don't care, it could be in Japan, it could be anywhere. Just not in the UK.
"Next time I will stop him."