Dimitrenko vs. Chambers: Does Eddie Stand a Chance?
By Erik Schmidt: Undefeated heavyweight contender Alexander Dimitrenko (29-0, 19 KOs) and American Eddie Chambers (34-1, 18 KOs) will battle it out in the World Boxing Organization (WBO) title eliminator bout on July 4th, at the Color Line Arena, in Hamburg, Germany. The winner of the bout faces WBO title holder Wladimir Klitschko at some distant point in the future if Wladimir can get by David Haye in June.
Chambers, 27, has the edge in experience, having fought good heavyweights Alexander Povetkin, Dominick Guinn, Calvin Brock and most recently, Samuel Peter. Chambers defeated Brock and Peter by a close decision, and beat Guinn by a 10-round decision. Povetkin, however, beat Chambers by a 12-round unanimous decision in the International Boxing Federation heavyweight tournament to become Wladimir’s mandatory for that title.
At 6’1”, 223 pounds, Chambers is a good fighter, although small for a heavyweight. He’ll be at a huge size disadvantage against the 6’7” 256 pound Dimitrenko, who will have a six inch height, eight inch reach and roughly a 33 pound weight advantage over Chambers.
Some people are thinking that Chamber’s fast hands will make up for his lack of size, but I’m not so sure about that. Chambers is fast but he doesn’t have much power to speak of. He likes to get in and get out with quick attacks, but he’ll like get hit quite a lot by the long jab and right hands from Dimitrenko while on the outside.
Dimitrenko is a different type of heavyweight, a fighter from Ukraine that fights in the mold of Wladimir Klitschko. Dimitrenko is more athletic, and a better mover than most of the heavyweights in the top 15. Dimitrenko is more like a fighter much smaller in the way he gets around the ring, as well as his punch arsenal, which is vast.
Dimitrenko is an excellent body puncher, and is capable of ending fights with his left hook to the body. The problem for Chambers is that Dimitrenko fights well on the inside, much better than any heavyweight that is currently ranked in the top 10. Dimitrenko is quite comfortable trading on the inside and is dangerous with his uppercuts.
The one problem that Dimitrenko has is that he sometimes covers up in between punching, and lets his opponent’s pound away on him for a brief period of time before returning fire. Dimitrenko has good power, but not in the class of Wladimir and Vitali.
I’d rate Dimitrenko’s power as better than Chambers, but probably not that much better. Dimitrenko could be a better puncher, perhaps, if he didn’t slap as much with his shots. However, he’s capable of landing hard when he loads up with his shots and throws them with good form. At 26, Dimitrenko is still learning under the training of Fritz Zdunek, the former trainer of Wladimir Klitschko.
Like I said, Chambers will have the speed advantage in this fight, but his lack of size and reach will probably hinder him against a fighter as big and as athletic as Dimitrenko. The Ukrainian fighter is solid in a lot of different areas, and if he’s disciplined about keeping Chambers on the outside, then there won’t be much that Chambers can do with him.
When Dimitrenko is firing on all cylinders, he’s like a machine. However, Dimitrenko has mental breakdowns from time to time and sometimes gets dragged into brawls. This may be an opportunity for Chambers if he can get Dimitrenko to get out of his game plan and to start slugging.
Dimitrenko’s form breaks down when he starts slugging and he becomes kind of wild. In that case, Chambers might be able to land something big in between one of Dimitrenko’s big clubbing shots and possibly knock the Ukrainian out.
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