Former world heavyweight title challenger ‘Fast’ Eddie Chambers likes what he has seen of fast-rising prospect Anthony Joshua, but fears his run of soft opposition may only serve to hurt him in the future.
The 32-year-old Chambers, once of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, now an honorary member of Team Fury in Bolton, speaks from experience. Back in March 2010 he scaled the heights and challenged Wladimir Klitschko for the world heavyweight championship. He therefore knows a good heavyweight when he sees one.
“At the moment they’re doing a good job of making Joshua look unbeatable,” said Chambers. “The only problem with that is you get to a point where that’s all you’re used to. Then you get in there with somebody who can prove you’re very beatable. Then panic sets in. Then you realise you have no foundations or experience to fall back on.
“Unfortunately, there’s too much fanfare from TV right now. They’re trying to analyse the improvements when he’s fighting nobodies. They’re putting a guy who is 6’6 in with much smaller guys who aren’t really talented or athletic in the slightest. They have no talent beyond coming forward and blocking shots with their face.
“How do you asses someone’s development against these opponents? Joshua won’t even get hit by these guys. And, if he does, it’s just a lucky shot.”
Chambers, 39-4 (21 KOs), continued: “Joshua’s a big, strong, athletic guy. He’s a super athlete. These big heavyweights are a different breed to what they were a few years back.
“And that means you shouldn’t match him against smaller guys with no ambition and then expect him to somehow be tested. It won’t happen. You have to put him in with someone who is either similar in size to him or at the very least someone who is athletic, slick, durable or strong.
“I’m not saying he won’t beat these opponents. He could go in there, wipe them out and surprise me. But, until that happens, we don’t really know how good he is.
“Ultimately, if you want him to become a world champion and you want him to reach the top, you can’t keep feeding him the same stale food every time. You’ve got to feed him something spicy now and again to keep his taste buds alive.”
Renowned for being an often avoided member of the heavyweight division, Chambers doesn’t expect a call from Joshua’s promoter anytime soon. But, in the unlikely event that the call does arrive, he’s more than happy to ask a question or two of the unbeaten Londoner.
“People might start believing their own BS and could be quick to test him,” said Chambers, who next appears on November 8 at Glow, Bluewater. “If that happens, I may get the call. I don’t expect it to happen anytime soon, as there are other fights out there for him that don’t carry as much risk, but I would never say ‘no’ to an opportunity like that. It would be nice.
“I’d like to see him go all the way, though. I’d like to see him get far. Let’s see these young guys go out and prove themselves. Then, if our paths meet and there’s a bit of meat dangling between two dogs, I’m not the type to back down.”
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