Light heavyweight contender Isaac Chilemba faces undefeated contender Eleider Alvarez on Saturday at Centre Videotron in Quebec City, Canada. Thgis fight will be shown on Showtime in the United States and is on the undercard of the James DeGale-Lucian Bute supermiddleweight fight.
Chilemba (24-2-2, 10 KOs) is on a four fight win streak, including an impressive victory over previously undefeated Vasily Lepikhin. In that fight, Chilemba, who is rated 8th in the light heavyweight division according to the Transnational Boxing Rankings, was a defensive wizard as usual. He also jabbed well from the outside early. He then used pot shots from the outside before adding combination power punches.
In his two 2013 fights against Tony Bellew, a disputed draw and an equally disputed loss, Chilemba was a defensive master, but didn't throw enough. He has rectified that fault in recent fights. He not only became more active against Lepikin, but also against the dangerous Denis Grachev in 2014. He won virtually every round during his recent win streaks.
While Alvarez is the bigger name, Chilemba is taller, younger, and has fought the tougher competition. The undefeated Canadian of Colombian birth, Alvarez has defeated three undefeated fighters. In his last bout, Alvarez, who is the 7th ranked light heavyweight in the Transnational Boxing Rankings, tightened up his punches and improved his skill. But the awkward Isidro Prieto was able to land overhand rights and even hurt Alvarez in the middle rounds before losing a decision.
Aside from the Prieto bout, Alvarez has been known to be in boring fights, which could be a problem against Chilemba. A high work rate is the best way to neutralize Chilemba's calculated boxing. If Chilemba is allowed to jab from the outside, he'll pick apart the 6' 31 year old.
Alvarez represents the seventh time Chilemba has fought an opponent with an undefeated record and at least 10 wins; Isaac hasn't lost yet.
The bout is scheduled for 12 rounds. The winner will be the mandatory challenger to Adonis Stevenson, the recognized light heavyweight champion.