Bellew may have reached his level
Our boxing expert Derek Bilton presents his latest British top 10 pound-for-pound list and offers his view on Tony Bellew.
- Related Content
Tony Bellew may have reached his level
In front of 10000 rabid Scouse fans the 'Bomber' battled bravely but was never in command against a slick African opponent.
This was an acid test for Bellew, and he confirmed as much to trade paper Boxing News in the lead up when he stated that "My whole life's riding on this".
Bellew has always talked a good fight and made headlines in the lead up to the contest by stating he is "willing to die" in the ring. Indeed if belts were awarded for pre-fight bluster the Toxteth man might already be a decorated world champion.
They are not however, and for me Bellew can count himself very fortunate not to have lost at the Eco Arena. Chilemba is a decent if unremarkable pro but he made Bellew look very ordinary at times in that ring.
Furthermore, he deserved more that Bellew griefing him in their post-fight interview, claiming that Chilemba's trainer Buddy McGirt had the Scouser winning the fight.
The pair will inevitably do it again and Tony may well get his win eventually but this game is all about levels and Bellew is a notch below the likes of current WBC champion Chad Dawson.
One fighter who could be worth keeping an eye on from a 'pound-for-pound' perspective is Bellew's fellow Scouser Jazza Dickens.
Dickens is a welcome addition to the red hot domestic super-bantamweight division currently being bossed by Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton.
He scored win number 14 what promises to be a stellar career, and picked up his first proper title (English super-bantam) as he beat the hitherto unbeaten Jon Fernandes handily in front of a packed house at the Echo Arena.
Dickens has lightning fast hands and there is a matureness about his work that belies the fact he is just 21.
Boxing in Liverpool, a city with a long and proud fistic tradition, is thriving just now and Dickens has the potential to do great things if he can retain the same focus and hunger.
The recent Matchroom signing reckons he could get a shot at new WBO boss Robert Stieglitz, who shocked Arthur Abraham on the same bill in Germany. It's a winnable fight for Groves, who has won 18 in a row since turning over and who has already won British and Commonwealth belts at 12st.
No opponent has yet been named but we know it won't be Vitali Klitschko. The Bermondsey puncher insists he has grown tired of waiting for a phone call to box either of the Klitschko's and insists he wants to stay busy, getting himself into a mandatory position to ultimately force Vitali or Wladimir's hand.
The brothers of course currently hold all the major belts but at 32 Haye is young enough and talented enough to play the long game.
Sportinglife.com pound-for-pound British top 10:
1 Carl Froch
2 David Haye
3 Kell Brook
4 Amir Khan
5 Ricky Burns
6 Nathan Cleverly
7 Scott Quigg
8 Carl Frampton
9 David Price
10 Tyson Fury
Honourable mentions: Gavin Rees, Matt Macklin, George Groves, and Martin Murray.