Fast "Eddie’s" Improved, but can he Beat a Klitschko?

By Shaun Murphy - Being a long-term boxing fan I’m always skeptical about any newcomers. Ian Millarvia? -- Have you heard of him? No, I didn’t think so. Well, when the giant Scotsman turned pro I was convinced he’d become Scotland’s first world heavyweight champion but years on, his inactivity suggests his ambitions don’t lie in the ring. Oh, I forgot, Sandy Robb [7-7 4 KOs], he’s a Scottish light-heavyweight I sparred when I lived in the Highlands. After making me even uglier [through punching my face in], I would’ve bet my eyesight on him doing something in the pros. Again, years on, Robb is known only to the most hardcore-of-hardcore boxing fans as he’s given the sport up..

Being, perhaps, the most pessimistic 26-year-old man on earth, when ‘’Fast’’ Eddie lost to the talented Alexander Povetkin I thought he’d sink into obscurity. However, after beating Alexander Dimitrenko Saturday night in a WBO title eliminator, Eddie Chambers is possibly America’s best chance of a heavyweight title…

Dimitrenko Needs a Chat with Larry Holmes

I’m not sure of the case now, but a few years ago Larry Holmes used to offer boxing tips on his website. The amount of wisdom he imparted on the finer details of the noble art was amazing; however, despite forgetting most of Holmes’ free advice, the great heavyweight expounded one thing so much it ingrained in my very DNA. Holmes instructed, to all on his website, on the technicalities of the jab and almost ranted about the low standard of the modern-day fighters’ use of it.

Holmes instructed, to throw the perfect jab, you need to release the punch like a whip from the shoulder and move straight away afterwards. Under no circumstances, the ‘’Eastern Assassin’’ instructed, should a boxer resort to the lazy trick of the ‘’measuring jab’’ [sticking the left-hand out and nothing else, something Dimitrenko did all night], as the jab needs to be a punishing weapon. For the whole fight, the Ukrainian made a series of fundamental mistakes and lost because of it. [Consequently, I believe, Dimitrenko needs someone like Holmes to iron out his flaws otherwise he’ll waste his significant talent.]

Almost tragically, Sunday Morning, when I watched the much-hyped Dimitrenko—Chambers fight I was shocked to see a 6’7, 250-pound man beaten so easily by a guy he could have defeated. No disrespect to Chambers, he did what he needed to win, but the physical advantages the Ukrainian possessed, if utilized, would have shutout any chance of Chambers landing any punch at all.

For instance, all through the fight, the huge Ukrainian literally allowed Chambers to walk into punching range without any attempt at using his lightning-fast, straight left-and-right hand to keep him away [Am I the only who noticed?].

Also, quite insanely, the born-again Christian often bent down to Chambers’ level to make himself an easier target. Even worse, attempting a kamikaze version of the rope-a-dope, Dimitrenko would stand still while ‘’Fast’’ Eddie unloaded his punches without even bothering to counter. Quite frankly, the Ukrainian needs to correct his faults otherwise – at elite level – he’ll be exposed every time he enters the ring.

Chambers did all he Needed to Win

In the build up to the contest – in the photos East Side Boxing showed – I noticed a look of quite confidence on Chambers’ face. Although I predicted Dimitrenko winning, due the Eastern European’s size, I imagine from the underachieving way ‘’Sasha’’ fights, the American believed he’d beat him.

To be fair, there’s been a huge improvement in the Chambers that barely threw a punch against Alexander Povetkin. Compact and strong, the Pennsylvanian’s taking the sport seriously and has many attributes that could be construed as world-class. From the first rd, Chambers refused to stand outside of Dimtirenko’s jab and be intimidated by his colossal size and strength. Instead, the American moved his head and unloaded his mid-power punches at the Ukrainian at every opportunity. Although, walking in wasn’t that daunting, as Dimitrenko lacks balance, throws punches without accuracy or proper form and doesn’t hit very hard. [Dimtirenko’s right cross is an exhibition on how not to throw it: bad balance, bad form, accuracy and timing!]

Although it was illegal, Dimitrenko had to take time out, when ‘’Fast’’ Eddie showed a needed nasty streak in the 7th rd hitting ‘’Sasha’’ with a kidney punch. From this point, Chambers started to take control and landed at will. After the 7th rd, the Ukrainian started to tire, and Chambers took advantage of Dimtirenko’s strange habit of leaning forward with his hands down and hit the 8-inch taller man with even his jab. Also, I believe, buried deep in ‘’Sasha’s’’ subconscious, there’s a need to prove he can take a punch because he often just stood still while Chambers used his massive head as a punch ball.

In the 10th rd, standing still again, Chambers caught the Ukrainian with a solid left hook and dropped him. Although the knockdown was brief, the fight essentially left the Ukrainian.

After the knockdown, Dimitrenko fought in a light punching move-and-move style that would make Wladimir Klitschko look like Mike Tyson in a street fight…

Unsurprisingly, Chambers won the contest by unanimous decision.

What next for ‘’Fast’’ Eddie

Now Chambers has won the WBO title eliminator he’s the mandatory challenger to Wladimir Klitschko, and may fight the Champion if he gets past Povetkin in his next defence. Looking at the positives, as well as beating Dimitrenko, the American has also outpointed the powerful Samuel Peter. Credit where it’s due, I rate ‘’Fast’’ Eddie as a good fighter and think he has a bright future in the division.

However, I don’t think he’d stand much chance against the younger Klitschko. He beat Dimitrenko because the Ukrainian makes too many mistakes. Against ‘’Dr. Steelhammer’’, a man who specializes in shutting out shorter fighters, he wouldn’t be allowed to walk in and land like he did Saturday night. But, I might be a negative person, Chambers is doing well and he might prove me and everyone else wrong…

Article posted on 06.07.2009

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