When light heavyweight contenders Tony Bellew and Isaac Chilemba fought on March 30 in Bellew's hometown of Liverpool, England, they settled nothing.
After a slow, relatively action-free fight, the world title elimination bout was ruled a split draw -- one judge had it even, one had it for Bellew (19-1-1, 12 KOs) and one for Chilemba (20-1-2, 9 KOs) -- so now they are going to do it again.
Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, Bellew's promoter, announced on Wednesday that the rematch is set and will take place May 25 at the O2 Arena in London. The bout was added to the undercard of the super middleweight title unification fight between Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch, who are also meeting in a rematch. Bellew-Chilemba II will be part of the Sky Sports pay-per-view in the United Kingdom.
The first bout produced little action and was a disappointment to many, but Hearn believes there will be more fireworks this time.
"Both men have a score to settle, and I take my hat off to them for agreeing the rematch so quickly," Hearn said. "I think you will see a different kind of fight this time. No one will leave it to chance, and both need to make a statement this time around."
The Bellew-Chilemba II winner will become the mandatory challenger for the 175-pound world title held by champion Chad Dawson.
"It's great to have the opportunity to put things right," Bellew, 30, said. "I have to get my head down and work doubly hard in the weeks ahead of the fight to make sure the job gets done properly this time around.
"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."
Chilemba, 25, of South Africa, believes he won the first fight and is happy to have a chance to set the record straight.
"For most, opportunity knocks once," Chilemba said. "I've been fortunate, and with my blessing of a second chance I will not leave my future in anyone else's hands. I believe I won the first fight, but that's now irrelevant. But I will be winning the second fight."
In another fight Hearn announced Wednesday, featherweight prospect Lee Selby (14-1, 5 KOs) of Wales, whom he signed last month, will defend his Commonwealth title against Corey McConnell (11-0-1, 0 KOs) of Australia on April 20 at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, England. The fight is on the undercard of British junior middleweight Brian Rose's bout with former world titleholder Joachim Alcine of Canada.
If all goes well for Selby, he will fight again June 15 in Cardiff, Wales, on a card he will co-headline with lightweight contender Gavin Rees.