Povetkin vs. Chambers: Does Alexander Have Enough Speed To Handle Eddie?

By Boxing News - 01/22/2008 - Comments

povetkin335353.jpgThis Saturday night, #2 rated heavyweight in the IBF, undefeated Alexander Povetkin (14-0, 11 KOs) goes up against what I personally consider to be the best American heavyweight Eddie Chambers (30-0, 16 KOs) when they meet in the International Boxing Federation elimination fight at Tempodrom, Kreuzberg, in Berlin, Germany. Most people feel that Povetkin, 28, the former 2004 Olympic super heavyweight boxing champion, to be the one that will come out on top and thus move on to a late 2008 showdown with the winner of Wladimir Klitschko vs. Sultan Ibragimov.

Povetkin, however, has faced mostly limited competition in his short career, most recently defeating Chris Byrd by an 11th round stoppage on October 27, 2007. Povetkin looked vulnerable against Byrd, and was repeatedly hit with straight left hands all night long. Povetkin had trouble hitting the badly slowed 37 year-old Byrd, and looked even slower than he did. In contrast, IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, made it look easy blasting apart Byrd a year earlier on April 22nd, 2006. Of course, Povetkin isn’t fighting Klitschko this Saturday, and will only have to deal with the speedy and elusive Chambers.

That said, Chambers is a lot like a younger Byrd, in that he is very difficult to hit on a constant basis, making his opponents miss with his head and torso movement. He twists out of the way of shots, and is also excellent and picking off punches with his gloves in the same way that Byrd does. However, what makes him even more difficult is his foot movement. He’s moves around the ring extremely well, preventing plodding fighters like Chambers, from trapping him against the ropes. This will be a problem for Povetkin, who relies on walking his opponents down and getting them against the ropes where he can land his slower combinations. Povetkin will never be a fast puncher or quick with his feet, and will have to rely on trying to cut off the ring and force his opponents to stand and trade with him.

If Chambers uses his speed and quick combinations, then Povetkin will have to come up with a plan B, otherwise he’ll get out-pointed and lose badly. To be sure, Povetkin isn’t going to be able to knock Chambers out, since Povetkin doesn’t have really good one-punch power, and has to win his fights by clubbing his mostly stationary opponents into submission. Since Chambers won’t be standing in front of him and trading, Povetkin is going to have to try to take advantage of the few times that he does get in range.

As for Chambers, he has very little power of his own, and will need to land his blazing fast combinations and get out of the way of Povetkin’s own shots. Like always, Povetkin will be constantly coming forward, trying to force his will on Chambers. However, in the later rounds, Povekin seems to gas out, as he’s somewhat short, stout and suffers from poor stamina. Chambers has to confuse Povetkin in the early rounds with speed and foot movement, and then once he gets him past the 8th round, pour on the combinations as Povetkin gasps for breath.

I see Chambers sweeping all the later rounds of the fight, though I’m not sure he’ll get credit for them, since the fight is in Germany. I’m hoping that the German judges score this one fairly for a change and give the rightful winner, probably Chambers, the victory. However, it’s going to be tough, as Povetkin will be the hometown fighter and it will almost be as if he’s a champion, making it necessary for Chamber’s win to be beyond a shadow of a doubt. It will, at least to the rest of the world.

Comments are closed.