By Mark Whalley
The fight failed to live up to the hype that surrounded it – much of it drummed up by Bellew’s own tubthumping.
He promised to blow Chilemba away but looked ponderous and bereft of ideas at their battle wore on, with the African seemingly comfortable despite fighting in Bellew’s hometown of Liverpool.
Whilst Bellew’s immediate post-fight reaction was rather less than magnanimous, he has been more reflective as time has gone on, and has publically admitted that he failed to deliver the first time.
Bellew told Matchroom: ““I’ve had a bit of stick but I can take it and I’ve learned from what happened. It’ll be a different fight this time around – the first fight should’ve been a great one but it just didn’t work out that way. I won’t be making predictions this time, just concentrating on working hard and beating Isaac to land that World title shot.”
The Bellew we saw in the ring against Chilemba the first time was not the Bomber that has blasted out the majority of his opponents, and will go into the second contest as a warm favourite.
As reported by BritWatch Sports a fortnight ago, “A-Force” will step into the squared circle against the American known as “The Bronze Bomber”, knowing that defeat will almost certainly end his career.
The prospect of retirement aside, the match is undoubtedly a dangerous one – Wilder has knocked out every single opponent he has faced – but Harrison knows that a victory would propel him into the world title mix-up once again – unthinkable to all who saw him being dismantled by David Price last year.