Four American Heavyweights Give a Glimpse Into The Future

15.01.07 - By Paul McCreath: Regular readers of ESB will no doubt be aware that many fans today are of the opinion that the heavyweight division is in rather sad shape, especially in North America. While America once turned out around 90 percent of the leading heavies, today it is more like 20 percent. Today the talent pool is smaller but that is not to say that there is no hope for improvement soon. One of the problems has been that young prospects have been very reluctant to meet each other or any opponent who poses a real threat. They don't get tough fights and thus don't develop as well as they might if extended more once in awhile.

On February 9th in Selden New York, on Long Island, four young prospects will try to show that all young guns are not chicken when they meet each other in two ten round bouts. In the headline match, Eddie Chambers will meet local attraction Derrick Rossy and in the co-feature, Chris Arreola meets Malcolm Tann.

This card reminds me of one held back in March of 1996 on the Night of the Young Heavyweights when four top prospects at that time were matched. In that card, David Tua stopped John Ruiz in 19 seconds and Darroll Wilson stopped Shannon Briggs in 3 rounds. The odd thing about these bouts is that the winners never became champions and, in fact, Wilson had little success afterwards but both the losers went on to win world title belts. This proves, I believe, that an early career loss is not that important and young fighters would be better off taking a risk every so often.

Malcolm Tann is an example of this concept. With a 22-2 record, including 12 KO's, some have written him off already, but should they? He has all the physical tools at 6 foot 6 and around 240 pounds, with good technical skills to go with his size. At times, he has looked like he was ready for the big time and, unfortunately, he has flopped on two occasions as well. Malcolm had a very good amateur career, winning the US National Golden Gloves title at Super Heavy in 2002. He turned pro and won 8 in a row looking like a top prospect before being upset by trial horse Willie Chapman by split decision in 4. It should be remembered that Willie also knocked out Davarryl Williamson in 4 rounds.

Tann reversed that loss soon after and seemed on the right track again until he stumbled again against Domonick Jenkins in September 2005, losing a six round decision. Since then, he has won six strait against modest opposition. At 28 years of age, he has to make his move now. Clearly, a loss in this bout will mean his hopes are crushed. A win, however, puts him right in the middle of it again. At this stage, his best win so far is over Derek Bryant by 8 round decision, and last September, he defeated veteran Sedreck Fields in 6 rounds. Granted, Fields loses often but has a win over Shannon Briggs and a close split decision loss to Oliver McCall.

Tann's opponent will be Chris Arreola from Los Angeles. Chris has a very impressive KO record with 16 of his 18 bouts ending early, and is undefeated, 25 years old and stands 6 foot 1. He has carried, in my opinion, too much weight, around 245-255 until his last bout in November, when he slimmed down to 229 and scored a convincing 7 round KO of fellow prospect Damian Wills, who was 20-0-1 at the time. He also stopped Sedreck Fields in 7. When you consider that Fields has gone 10 rounds with ranked fighters like McCline, Donald,and Jefferson as well as the Briggs and McCall bouts, that looks pretty good.

In the main event, New Yorkers will get their first look at Eddie Chambers. Fast Eddie usually fights out of the famous Blue Horizon club in Philadelphia but he is not a typical Philly fighter. You would never confuse his style with Joe Frazier's. A small heavy at 6 foot 1 and 215 pounds, Eddie uses his speed and combinations to outbox his opponents rather than sheer power. He is probably the closest to the rankings of any of the four fighters involved and has outscored Ross Puritty who, of course, has a knockout win over Wladimir Klitschko. He also defeated Robert Hawkins over 12 rounds last September. Hawkins, you will remember, gave Sam Peter a surprisingly good fight in December 2005. Chambers has a 27-0 record with 15 KO's, and is only 24 years old.

Opposing Chambers is local favorite Derrick Rossy from nearby Medford. Derrick has less experience with only 15 wins, 9 by KO and no defeats. He will have a big weight advantage at around 245-250 pounds and can expect lots of support from his home fans. He will be hoping to overpower the smaller Chambers using his weight and greater strength and punching power. His best wins to date are a KO in 2 over Gary Bell, 22-3-1 at the time and a KO in 4 over Ed Gutierrez, who was 18-3-1. Gutierrez twice went the distance with another young slugger JD Chapman. A loss in this bout would not be all that serious for Rossy but a win would springboard him to near the top of the prospect list. It is a win win situation for Derrick who is only 26.

These bouts should go a long way to showing us what to expect in the near future from these young heavyweights.

Article posted on 15.01.2007

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