Malawian light-heavyweight Isaac Chilemba is contemplating his return to the ring in the late fall after recently sharing 24 rounds with the WBC’s now number one contender Tony Bellew in the United Kingdom.
The 26 year-old, who firstly drew and then lost to Bellew earlier this year, is looking to work his way back up the 175lb rankings after missing out on a coveted shot at the new WBC title holder Adonis Stevenson.
“I was with my management talking about my next fight and we are looking for sometime in September or October,” Chilemba told World Boxing News.
“We are looking at good opponent who is ranked high to maintain my spot and get back to a title shot.”
Former foe Bellew, 30, is now set to challenge formidable puncher Stevenson for the belt he ripped away from Chad Dawson in a stunning first round upset, with Chilemba informing WBN that he is fearful of the Briton’s chances on the back of their fight double.
“Tony Bellew needs a lot of work to go in against Stevenson if the fight happens,” Chilemba explained. “For certain Tony cannot go toe to toe with Adonis as Stevenson knows how to go around any style and he has got a good selection of punches. He also knows which one to use at the right time and will give Tony big problems.
“I see Stevenson winning the fight, in my opinion and especially if it happens in Canada. That is simply because Tony is a very emotional guy and I am not sure if he can deal with it well.
“As Stevenson himself recently showed, anything is possible in sports as I gave him no chance against Dawson and look what happened.
“Even myself (against Tony the second fight), I had an off night and I just wasn’t there. So I wouldn’t say I give Tony no chance, but I think he needs a lot of work,” he added.
Talk of Stevenson v Bellew making way for a unification with Bernard Hopkins has subsided after the IBF ordered ‘B-Hop’ to defend his belt against Sergey Kovalev, with the likelihood being that the fight would happen in Canada in the next few months.
Stevenson is said to be looking at some of the bigger names in the division since raising his stock against Dawson, although Bellew recently told WBN that he fancies the job, even away from home – which should make the clash easier to make.