Alexander Povetkin vs Eddie Chambers This Saturday

By Boxing News - 01/24/2008 - Comments

HBO’s late-night boxing series kicks off the new year with a heavyweight showdown when HBO BOXING AFTER DARK: ALEXANDER POVETKIN VS. EDDIE CHAMBERS is seen SATURDAY, JAN. 26 at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT), from the Tempodrome in Berlin, exclusively on HBO. The HBO Sports team of Bob Papa, Max Kellerman and Lennox Lewis will be ringside for the event, which will be available in HDTV, as well as closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino..

The telecast starts with the exclusive replay of the Felix Trinidad-Roy Jones Jr. light heavyweight showdown. The two stars fought on Jan. 19 at New York’s Madison Square Garden and Jones scored a unanimous 12-round decision victory.

With two undefeated records on the line, Alexander Povetkin (14-0, 11 KOs) takes on Eddie Chambers (30-0, 16 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round heavyweight eliminator bout. A gold medalist at the 2004 Olympics, Povetkin, from Tschechow, Russia has taken the heavyweight division by storm. Coming off an 11th-round knockout of former heavyweight champion Chris Byrd, he’s out to secure a shot at the heavyweight crown.

Just 25 years old, fast-handed Pennsylvania native Chambers is already a seasoned ring veteran with 30 pro bouts under his belt. Scoring a 12-round decision victory over heavyweight contender Calvin Brock in his last fight, Chambers has proven himself one of the top talents in the division.

“The White Lion” Alexander Povetkin

There were two special visitors at the Max-Schmeling-Gym this week when unbeaten heavyweight star Alexander Povetkin (14-0, 11 KOs) presented his new fightname. The 2004 Olympic gold medal winner will now be known as “The White Lion”. Between two practice sessions, he took time out to meet two exotic talismans, Amir and Nell. The four-month-old baby lions from the Safaripark Stukenbrock certainly enjoyed playing with the Russian star. It was Wilfried Sauerland´s idea to give Povetkin the new nickname. “I´ve been living in Africa for a long time and that´s why I have a soft spot in my heart for lions,” the promoter said. “The lion is the king of the animals, and Alexander fights like a lion. When a good friend of mine adopted the two babies from the Safaripark, the idea came up..”

White lions, a very rare form, owe their coloring to a recessive gene. There are just 100 left worldwide. Because they would not survive own their own, they exclusively live in zoological gardens. Legendary German magicians Siegfried and Roy made them famous. “I know Siegfried and Roy and once saw white lions at their home in Las Vegas,” Sauerland said. “White lions are very, very special and beautiful.”

Povetkin certainly enjoyed his time with the two babies. “They are wonderful. At first they were a little shy but then they got used to me really quick.” Fritz Wurms, managing director of the popular Safaripark in Stukenbrock, gave the Russian star a stuffed lion as a souvenir. “It´s a special talisman and will help you to become the king of the heavyweight,” Wurms said.

Povetkin will have to fight like a lion when he battles out the final IBF eliminator with top-ranked American Eddie Chambers (30-0, 16 KOs) on Saturday. “I´ll prove my lion heart,” Povetkin claimed.

Povetkin Confident

Russian star Alexander Povetkin (14-0, 11 KOs) is convinced he will beat Eddie Chambers (30-0, 16 KOs) in Saturday´s final IBF eliminator and become the next big thing in the heavyweight division. Speaking in front of a packed press conference in Berlin, the 2004 Olympic gold medal winner said: “I am very confident of success. I expect a very hard fight, much harder than against Chris Byrd. Everything else we will see in the ring.”

The media interest in the showdown has been gigantic. 44 TV stations will broadcast the fight, including HBO. It spells a historic first time that the famous American network broadcasts a non-Klitschko fight out of Germany. “It is very hard to get HBO over here so we´re pleased they are coming,” Wilfried Sauerland said. “We all know that the winner of this fight has a golden future ahead – and it will be Alexander who leaves the ring victorious..”

Chambers´ manager Dan Goossen agreed on the importance but not on the outcome of the clash. “It will be a great fight. Eddie is the number one in the rankings, Alexander the number two. We believe that Eddie will win. I am from Hollywood, California, and we make a lot of movies over there. Eddie has ‘superstar’ attached to his name.” Sauerland was quick to fire back: “This is not Hollywood, this is Germany. We also make movies but they do not always have happy endings. I will have to console Dan. The happy ending will not be for his fighter but for Povetkin.”

Just like Povetkin, Chambers was full of respect for his opponent. “I have seen his fights on TV and they are certainly impressive. But I´m sure I´ll win. I am very mobile. And I don´t think he knows how much power I´ve got.” The 25-year-old American said he was unfazed by Povetkin´s home advantage. “I know the fans will be on his side, but I´m prepared for that. I can take it.” Chambers has most recently added former world champion Buddy McGirt to his coaching staff. The move has paid off, finds head coach Eddie Chambers senior. “It has been great to have him around,” he said. “It´s like the icing on the cake. But we already had a system that has worked very well.”

In the second main fight, European middleweight champion Sebastian Sylvester (27-2, 13 KOs) will defend his title against Frenchman Francois Bastient (33-5, 15 KOs). “He will be constantly on the front foot but I will be prepared for it,” the Hurricane said. “I have high goals for 2008 and that´s why I need to defeat him.” Added coach Hartmut Schroeder. “We have to keep working hard because we want to win the world title this year.”

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