Saturday night brought us plenty of action from the echo arena in Liverpool, notably two clashes with two very different styles, both resulting in the same outcome. The first match up saw a rematch from a year ago, Anthony Crolla v Derry Matthews. Matthews went in to this match with a huge advantage, not only had he already beaten Crolla, but he had the backing of some 7000 fans.
It was a fight that promised so much and delivered so much more, from round to round the momentum swung in both men's favours, Crolla starting off with a terrific game plan and looking very sharp. Matthews on the other hand took a while to settle in to the fight, but once he found his rythem he looked just as sharp as before. Both me deserved the win, and when it was announced that they may have to fight again due to a draw on the judges scorecard, I couldn't help but feel slight disappointment that this saga wasn't settled on the night, but it remains that everyone including myself will be glued to another fight between these two men.
Topping the bill was Tony Bellew v Isaac Chilemba, this was a huge contrast compared to what the fans had just witnessed, and certainly did not live up to what most fans thought would be a great encounter. Bellew was the clear favourite going into the ring, but people had obviously failed to do their research on Chilemba, as he was a man that had only lost one fight on his way to this eliminator, and he even avenged that. He was not to be taken for granted, but I can't help feel that Bellew did just this. Obviously very frustrated right from the outset after a slight push of heads and a stare down after the first round ended. The fight continued in the same fashion, with both men landing some telling shots but neither really doing any damage.
Overall it was the decision that left silence fall over the echo arena, with another draw, and one judge even having Chilemba winning by four rounds, it was thought that Bellew had been hard done by. I personally saw nothing wrong with the decision and I actually am in agreement with the final outcome. Bellew pleaded that he was the clear winner, even saying that he should of win as he was the home town man, I'm sorry but that's the sort of excuse that we fans want to take straight out of the sport (reference to last weekends action in Germany). Somebody should have reminded Bellew with a few rounds left that this was indeed an eliminator and had he have won this he would have probably landed a big pay day in the U.S.
Either way this fight will probably happen again, in order for Bellew to win his time he will need to keep his head, and also forget about the other fighters around him. I still can't help but feel he has still not forgotten his close loss to Welsh champion Nathan Cleverly. What is for certain is based on this performance neither man will beat current WBC champ Chad Dawson.