Chilemba: Stevenson ducking, Oosthuizen nothing in the division
WBC number one light heavyweight contender Isaac Chilemba has expressed his frustration to WBN as the talented fighter patiently awaits his opportunity to fight current champion Adonis Stevenson.
The 28 year-old is on a four-fight winning streak which most recently saw Chilemba end Vasily Lepikhin’s perfect record via an impressive ten round decision. The Malawian now wants to face Stevenson next despite the Haitian-Canadian apparently looking elsewhere and has promoter Kathy Duva’s blessing to negotiate a contest on Showtime.
Stevenson is rumoured to be eyeing a unification fight with South African IBO title holder Thomas Oosthuizen in September, although Chilemba is hoping something can be done to mandate his chance as the top-rated fighter with the World Boxing Council.
“I want the title shot. I fought hard to get to the number one spot in order to get a chance at taking on the champion,” Chilemba told World Boxing News on Thursday.
“Now, it’s heartbreaking to see the champion ducking and diving and fighting people who are not even ranked or worth a chance. Firstly, Sakio Bika had no right to get a chance, now they talking about Oosthuizen who is nothing in the light heavyweight division.
“I’m happy to fight an elimination fight against the number two guy if being the number one contender isn’t good enough for everybody! Stevenson and his advisor Al Haymon want easy money fights instead of being a real champion and taking on real challenges.
“I worked hard to get here, it’s my right and I deserve the opportunity,” he added.
Currently ranked number two with the WBC is Andrzej Fonfara who took out former pound for pound star Julio Cesar Chavez in April and has already fought and lost to Stevenson in a gallant attempt back in May of last year.
Stevenson v Fonfara was an entertaining contest and there may well be interest in a rematch, so pitting Chilemba against the tough Pole to finalize the mandatory challenger seems the correct procedure for the WBC to follow.
Whether that actually happens though remains to be seen.