Chambers-Dimitrenko: Can Eddie Wear Alexander Down?
By Matt Stein: In one of the better match ups in recent boxing history, American heavyweight contender Eddie Chambers (34-1, 18 KOs) will go face to face with Ukrainian giant Alexander Dimitrenko (29-0, 19 KO’s) in a July 4th bout to decide which heavyweight title become the WBO mandatory challenger for current titleholder Wladimir Klitschko at the Color Line Arena, Altona, in Hamburg, Germany.
The winner of this fight has a tough task of facing the talented Klitschko or possibly British heavyweight David Haye. Chambers, 27, has got the advantages in hand speed and experience against better competition. Chambers’ hand speed is quite good, enabling him to beat quality heavyweights like Dominick Guinn, Calvin Brock and Samuel Peter.
Chambers may not have pop in his gloves that the bigger punchers like Peter, the Klitschko brothers and Haye possess, but he hits hard enough and fast enough to make him competitive with any of them. Chamber’s ability to take a hard shot is something that makes him that much better than many of his softer-chinned opponents, because Chambers can trade on the inside and outside without worrying about whether his chin will be able to take the punishment.
That’s a big advantage for Chambers, since it puts him in the position where he can outwork the bigger, slower moving heavyweights and beat them by an accumulation of blows rather than having to look for one big shot like most of them.
Add to that mix a great jab and you have a superb heavyweight that has only been beaten once in his career, a 12-round decision loss to Alexander Povetkin in 2008. Chambers had problems with Povetkin’s heavy pressure in that fight and wore down after the 5th round.
Dimitrenko isn’t a pressure puncher, thankfully for Chambers, so Eddie will have a much better chance of beating Dimitrenko than he did against the busy Povetkin.
In Chambers’ recent fight with Samuel Peter, Chambers got the better of the out of shape Peter with fast combinations and not letting himself stay in close for too long of a time before getting out of range. Peter landed the harder shots but wasn’t able to match the work rate of Chambers.
Dimitrenko, 26, a weaker punching clone of Wladimir Klitschko, has some hard to miss advantages in this fight with Chambers. Dimitrenko’s 6’7” height and 83” inch reach will give him the advantage to land from the outside with his jabs and right hands.
Now, this would perhaps be enough if this were Wladimir and not Dimitrenko, but the problem for Dimitrenko is that he often likes to come in close to trade on the inside and gives up his height. If Dimitrenko does this often enough against Chambers, I can’t see how Dimitrenko will win, because Chambers is much too fast for him at close range and will get the better of Dimitrenko with his fast shots.
Dimitrenko can slug there’s no doubt about that, but he doesn’t have the power to take a fighter like Chambers out with a few big shots like Wladimir. Instead, Dimitrenko will have to bludgeon Chambers to the canvas with a number of big shots if he has a hope of winning by knockout.
The outcome of this fight is too close to call. I would say Dimitrenko if he could punch and if he fought wisely, but he has shown too much of a tendency in past bouts to trade with shorter fighters, making would be easily winnable fights into much more grueling bouts.
If Chambers can keep the fight in close, I think he can win the fight without much of a problem. The trick for Chambers is to try and get Dimitrenko heated so that he’ll fight wildly and not use his reach and jab to beat him.
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