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Chambers vs. Dimitrenko this Saturday

By Erik Schmidt: This Saturday night, unbeaten heavyweight Alexander Dimitrenko (29-0, 19 KO’s) will be facing the toughest test of his career in a scheduled 12-round bout with American heavyweight contender Eddie Chambers (34-1, 18 KO’s) in a World Boxing Organization Title Eliminator bout at the Color Line Arena, in Hamburg, Germany. The winner of the bout will become the mandatory challenger for WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, and will likely get a chance against the 6’6” Klitschko sometime in early 2010.

Chambers, 6’1”, has a four fight winning streak going into Saturday night’s bout with Dimitrenko, and is looking to make it five impossible. However, Chambers will first have to find away inside so that he can try and overcome the long reach of the 6’7” Dimitrenko.

It might not be as hard as some people think it is, because Dimitrenko is a hot-heated fighter quick to anger and often gets caught up in slugging wars with his mostly inferior opponents. It hasn’t mattered in the past, because of the low quality of Dimitrenko’s previous opponents.

However, if Dimitrenko loses his head and starts slugging it out with Chambers at close range, then things may turn out bad for him. It’s not that Dimitrenko is a bad inside fighter, because I rate him as being quite good when fighting in close.

But when Dimitrenko allows his opponents to crowd him like Chambers will likely be trying to do on Saturday, it takes away a lot of Dimitrenko’s power and makes him much more vulnerable to getting outworked. Obviously, Dimitrenko’s trainer Fritz Sdunek has been trying to drum into Alexander’s head the importance of staying on the outside as much as possible.

Whether this will sink in is another matter altogether, because Dimitrenko seems to do what he wants to do in the ring, ignoring advice and opting to slug it out. Who knows? Dimitrenko has the size, power, youth and boxing skills that could make it possible for him to get away with slugging it out at times with Chambers.

However, if Dimitrenko wants to get an easy win without getting messy, he needs to utilize his huge eight inch reach advantage to keep Chambers on the outside. Chambers, 27, has never fought any fighter close to being as tall as Dimitrenko, and will have major problems should Dimitrenko decide to fight on the outside and keep him at the end of his jab.

This bout could effectively be a replay of Wladimir Klitschko’s two wins over Chris Byrd if Dimitrenko can fight with discipline and not try to slug with Chambers. Dimitrenko doesn’t have the power to bomb Chambers out like Wladimir would probably do, so he needs to focus on his jab and short combinations rather than just standing and trading with the American.

The key to victory for Chambers is to try and get in close and land quick combinations to the head and body. In this case, Chambers is in a good situation where he can do succeed by staying close to Dimitrenko and outworking him on the inside. If Chambers decides to jump in and out all fight long, he’ll have to be careful that he doesn’t eat too many jabs from Dimitrenko or get nailed by any of his big left hooks while on the way in.


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