Klitschko vs Chambers: Eddie Chambers is looking to crush the Klitschko myth

eddie chambersBy Mike Cassell, Philadelphia Boxing Report - I don’t make any bones about the fact that I know Eddie Chambers 35 – 1 (18KO’s), and I like Eddie Chambers on a personal, as well as a professional level. He is a very hard guy not to like. Personally he is humble and outwardly kind and accessible to media and fans alike.

Professionally, he spends countless hours in the gym working on the skills he needs to be a top notch Heavyweight. It is very difficult to meet him and not walk away with a feeling of optimism for the American heavyweight. But then in walks “The Steel Hammer” Wladimir Klitschko 53 – 3(47 KO’s). He is very big, very strong and after his 3 embarrassing KO losses earlier in career, very conditioned. His jab is fast for a big man. He does a great job of keeping his opponent in front of him and working at his own pace. A younger Wladimir was vulnerable, because he often found himself out of position while throwing awkward reaching punches, but that Wladimir is long gone. He plays is it much safer now, especially against smaller guys with a big punch. That example was never more evident than it was in Madison square Garden against Sultan Ibragimov for the IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight title. It was the first heavyweight title unification since Lewis-Holyfield II in 1999 in front of a very large heavyweight hungry crowd. The legend is, Klitschko didn’t throw a right hand against the Eastern European southpaw for seven rounds. I wouldn’t say that was exactly an accurate statement, however he was very careful, which amounted to very boring. But a win is a win, and his ring intelligence along with his power has beaten some talented fighters..

As Wladimir received the “no chin” label perhaps unfairly placed on him by journeymen Ross Puritty, Corrie Sanders and Lamont Brewster, Chambers dubiously received the “no heart” label because of his fights with Sam Peter, Alexander Povetkin and Calvin Brock. Most fans and boxing writers alike think Chambers can be more active and do more inside the ropes, especially when he is easily winning a fight on points. The heart critique is of course a myth, but fighting like Floyd Mayweather Jr as a heavyweight will never win popularity contests, especially among writers and commentators. Heavyweight fans want heavyweight knockouts. That’s the way it was 100 years ago, and it is the same today. It is one of the reasons both Klitschko brothers have won the approval of fans overseas. Meanwhile, American fans desperately have placed their heavyweight eggs in the basket of Hassim Rahman, Calvin Brock, Tony Thompson and Just recently, Chris Arreola, only to be left with a really messy looking omelet. If Chambers could somehow pull off a victory as he did against Sasha Dimitrenko in Germany, heavyweight fans may begin to cut him some slack. The same way boxing fans warmed up to Floyd Mayweather Jr after he beat a big name like Oscar De La Hoya. A skillful win over Klitschko could give Chambers the international muscle he needs to bring the best to the United States to face him. Let’s face it; Chambers is seriously racking up some frequent flier miles, being one of the few true contenders to travel anywhere for a fight.

Dropping the Hammer

Klitschko has been saved in the past by his brute strength and power. He is a very conservative puncher, but doesn’t discriminate when it comes to where he will throw them. His straight right hand is fast and hard. He moves much more fluidly than he did in his early years. He is smarter and more conditioned. He wants to take you deep and put you to sleep. He has been able to accomplish that against inferior American competition in the past, and doesn’t see Chambers any differently. Wladimir is all about distance. He is all about keeping the invisible barrier between his opponent and himself. He lulls you into dancing his dance, creates the space he needs, then plants a goodnight kiss right on the chin. The stand up straight, flat footed European stereotype is dying a slow death. Klitschko’s days of throwing awkward off balance punches seem to be over and he is at the top of his game. Most people believe a fight with Chambers will be another Calvin Brock or Tony Thompson type win, but I doubt he believes Chambers will be that easy. They sparred back in 2006 inside Caesars Resort in The Poconos and Eddie made quite an impression on trainer Manny Steward.

Speed Kills

Chambers is severely underrated, and the fact that he doesn’t boast like David Haye doesn’t help his cause with the media. His speed is however really unmatched as a heavyweight. He can put together combinations like a middleweight, and when he really wants to, he can impose his small stature on the bigger guys. Eddie Chambers really does need to make a decision in this fight. Does he want to show the world he can compete with the best? Or does he want to be the best, period. He is going to have to do some things that he has been criticized for not doing in the past. He is going to have to dig down and bring a bit of the Philly gym attitude to the table. When he lands his speedy combinations, he needs to follow up with some big stuff. He can’t get flat footed and fall into the shell defense. While he is good at not taking the big punch, Chambers can be scored on if he gets lazy.

I’m going out on a limb, but I have had the privilege to see twenty-five of Chambers fights that were not on Television. I know what his capable of, and believe he has the technical proficiency to beat Klitschko. He is also very aware of the stage he will be on, and whom he is sharing it with. Speedy younger guys have been underrated throughout the history of the heavyweight division. Chambers has an opportunity and a real chance. It is truly up to him to dare to be great. Klitschko has nothing to prove. He has shown his greatness against our best. This time, Chambers has to step up or step to the back of the mediocre American heavyweight line.

Article posted on 25.02.2010

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