The New IBF Heavyweight Tournament: Denis Boytsov Says No Thanks, Eddie Chambers Steps In

By James Slater: More news has surfaced regarding the in-the-works four man IBF heavyweight tournament that will see the winner go on to challenge heavyweight ruler Wladimir Klitschko. Initially, the IBF had hoped to feature the unbeaten Denis Boytsov in the tourney, along with Alexander Dimitrenko, Johnathon Banks and Jean Marc Mormeck. However, as has been reported on, 24-year-old Boytsov declined the invitation to take part, and has now been replaced by “Fast” Eddie Chambers.

The plan now is for Chambers (in what will be his first fight back since losing in a title challenge of Wladimir Klitschko) to face former cruiserweight champ Mormeck, and for Dimitrenko and Banks to square off. The two winners will then meet, with the winner to earn a shot at “Dr. Steel Hammer,” some time in 2011.

As fans know, Chambers was part of the 2007 tourney set up by the IBF, but after a points win over the now-retired Calvin Brock, the Philly talent dropped a decision to eventual tournament winner Alexander Povetkin. Now Chambers looks improve on last time and go on to win this second IBF elimination series.

Chambers-Mormeck is an interesting fight, but the younger, fresher man must be looked at as the favourite in my opinion. Mormeck has just two heavyweight wins to his name - over Vinny Maddalone and Fres Oquendo - and in both fights the Frenchman struggled. Chambers many not be a big heavyweight, but he has underrated power, he has a ton of heavyweight experience and he is fast; much faster than “The Marksman.” Look for a Chambers points win.

Dimitrenko-Banks might be a tougher fight to call. Dimitrenko, who has lost only to Chambers, is much bigger and heavier than the former cruiserweight title challenger from Detroit, but the giant from Ukraine is slower and less tricky than Banks. A good case could be made for either guy winning, although going by his last couple of fights - when he looked lazy and unmotivated against Jason Gavern and Saul Montana respectively - Banks will need to up his work-rate to beat Dimitrenko. Hopefully, both guys will fight to the best of their ability and the winner will have earned his shot at the Chambers-Mormeck winner.

If Dimitrenko beats Banks and if Chambers defeats Mormeck as I’ve predicted he will, we will see a rematch. “Fast” Eddie scored what is arguably his career-best win when he won a WBO eliminator over the German-based Ukrainian in July of last year; winning via a commanding performance. Dimitrenko may be desperate for revenge, but unless he’s lost something due to the 12th-round KO loss he suffered at the hands of Klitschko, I’d see another win for Chambers.

But what if Banks beats Dimitrenko? How would a Banks-Chambers fight shape up? All three fights could well become watch-able, fan-friendly affairs, and the winner will at least have earned a shot at Wladimir. But is either of the four men capable of beating the 34-year-old heavyweight king?

Article posted on 13.10.2010

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