WBC silver light-heavyweight champion Tony Bellew produced a far more workmanlike performance the second time around against Isaac Chilemba to book himself a dream world title fight.
The 30 year-old, who battled to a draw with the former world title holder only eight weeks ago in Liverpool, was busier in the return – especially in the first six rounds, and stayed on top of Chilemba to keep the Malawi fighter at bay.
Chilemba found it much harder to hit Bellew on the outside, but worryingly did find sustained success when up close and at times exposed the weaknesses of ‘The Bomber’ as he heads into a full WBC championship shot.
Bellew is now set to face the winner of next month’s green belt clash between title holder Chad Dawson and challenger Adonis Stevenson after the three judges card scores of 117-112, 116-112 (twice) in favour of the Briton.
On the same bill, ‘Saint’ George Groves moved a step closer to a possible fight with headliner Carl Froch after dominating and stopping Uruguayan Noe Gonzalez in five one-sided rounds.
The Londoner was never troubled by the former middleweight world title challenger and put him away after four rounds of softening up with hurtful shots. The finish came after a well-timed combination, culminating in a crunching right hand that dropped Gonzalez and prompted referee Terry O’Connor to end the fight despite his protests.