by Bobby Mac
Now, let me be up front and state that I like Eddie Chambers even if I am not always enthralled with his conditioning and style. Fast Eddie comes to fight and brings some stellar natural attributes to his challenge to Wladimir Klitschko‘s titles.
This is, however, not a billiards contest where the sharp shooting and sharp eyes of Fast Eddie might stand him in good stead, but a traditional blood sport that has been incrementally refined over the decades into it’s current twelve round championship format.
Wladimir Klitschko has made himself the master of those twelve allotted rounds, and almost never gives anything away to his opponents, no matter what their style, size, or strength is. Moreover, Wladimir rarely uses all of his allotted rounds, preferring to end fights sooner rather than later.
If careers were measured in rounds and stoppages instead of fights, Wlad and his brother Vitali would be in an elite class of their own, but thankfully careers are not measured in that fashion.
On his way to racking up 53 dominant wins with 47 KOs, a stellar record in any era, Wlad has been beaten in three major upsets against opposition he held almost all the advantages over, much like he does against Chambers, so therein lie the hopes and dreams of Fast Eddie.
Chambers has made upsetting bigger, stronger fighters part of his tidy 35-1, 18 KO record that has seen him to his current #8 Ring rating. He was the first to put a dent in the unblemished records of Derrick Rossy and Alexander Dimitrenko, and he also went the distance with Alexander Povetkin. Recently he defeated the former WBC champion Samuel Peter, all huge, strong fighters by any standard.
So, how does Fast Eddie turn the trick against Wladimir?
For starters, he seems to have whipped himself into a fine shape at 209lbs after stinging criticisms that he was sporting too much baggage. This is near the same form when he upset the massive Dimitrenko in his last fight, which has propelled Chambers into his first title challenge.
Returning to the scene of Wladimir’s last relevant loss against Lamon Brewster six years ago, Brewster used a concrete chin to break the strangely fragile stamina of Klitschko, who collapsed in a heap after 5 rounds. Chambers has proven to have a good chin thus far, but it seems a stretch to have to rely on Wlad collapsing in a heap again, but it has happened once, so the possibility is there.
It was seven years ago that Corrie Sanders used his lightning left hand out of a southpaw stance to surprise Wlad early with a big shot, and never let him recover for an early TKO. Chambers has never shown that level of power early in a fight, but Eddie does have some pretty fast hands and is capable of putting together the type of quick combinations that can drop a heavyweight, so he will be looking for this opportunity.
Realistically though, the above seems implausible for Chambers given the recent championship form of Klitschko, who is in the middle of his prime years. Wlad’s style is to impose a distance fight at range using what is arguably the most versatile jab in heavyweight history. It can be a shotgun in automatic mode, a pawing feint, a slapdown of defenses, or a set up for his excellent hook off the jab. Any fighter getting inside of his jab will be tied up by his prodigious size and strength, if not stretched out on the canvas from his right hand.
It all seems too much for Chambers to overcome, but Wlad is going to have to prove it one more time against the best proven American heavyweight today. Fast Eddie has already proven he belongs, and make no mistake, Chambers is the hungrier fighter with the greater incentive.
HBO thought so poorly of Chambers’ chances that they won’t be broadcasting this fight, which is a real shame. Maybe Chambers loses in a blowout, but he deserves better than being dismissed out of hand, especially since HBO has recently broadcast inferior American heavyweights in their title challenges.
If HBO had shown as much business acumen as the heart and ringmanship that Fast Eddie has shown in his career, maybe they wouldn’t be so rightly derided for poor matchups that have seen them lose market share, and called into question their devotion to the sport of boxing, which seems more oriented to painting by compubox numbers than the fighting spirit of the sport.
I expect both Wladimir and Chambers to acquit themselves quite nicely, so enjoy the moment.
I certainly will.