Wladimir vs. Chambers Next?
By Jim Dower: According to Dan Rafael, IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (53-3, 49 KO’s) could be facing number #3 ranked IBF contender Eddie Chambers (35-1, 18 KO’s) next rather than Alexander Povetkin, Klitschko’s number #1 mandatory opponent. The word is that Povetkin’s assistant trainer Teddy Atlas wants to get Povetkin in another fight before Povetkin takes on Klitschko. That sounds like a good strategy by Atlas, because Povetkin, 28, has looked less than stellar in his last two fights, beating Taurus Sykes and Jason Estrada but getting hit a lot.
Povetkin, a former 2004 Olympic heavyweight Gold Medalist from Russia, appears to need more experience before being put in with a skilled fighter like Wladimir Klitschko, who at 6’6″ would have a significant height and reach advantage over the 6’2″ Povetkin and would likely beat him easily by boxing on the outside.
Chambers, 27, recently defeated big 6’7″ Ukrainian Alexander Dimitrenko by a 12 round majority decision on July 4th in the WBO Heavyweight Title Eliminator bout. Chambers dominated the entire fight, hurting Dimitrenko with uppercuts and knocking him down in the 10th round. Chambers ignored Dimitrenko’s attempts at jabbing and was able to dominate him on the inside with hooks and uppercuts to the head.
Dimitrenko fought well when he was on the move, fighting well in the first five rounds and then sporadically thereafter. But Dimitrenko’s energy faded significantly after the 5th, and Chambers was able to take command of the fight and punish him the rest of the way. Dimitrenko’s face was badly swollen, especially around both eyes from the big shots from Chambers in the fight.
For Chambers, there is no better time than now to fight Klitschko. Chambers is coming off back to back wins over Samuel Peter and Dimitrenko, and fighting at the best weight of his career at a trim 208. Although Chambers would be giving up well over 30 pounds in a fight against the 240 pound Wladimir, Chambers already proved that weight doesn’t have much bearing in a fight with him.
Instead, it comes down to hand speed and ring skills. He proved against Dimitrenko that he can solve how to get inside the reach of a tall fighter. It would be up to Wladimir to prove that he can keep Chambers on the outside where he would be more or less bottled up. Wladimir has previously fought an opponent with a style similar to Chambers in the form of Chris Byrd, who Wladimir defeated twice during his career.
However, Chambers hits harder than Byrd and is more offensively skilled. Chambers tends to put a lot of pressure on his opponents and forces them to fight. It would be an interesting fight to see, because Wladimir hasn’t faced a fighter like Chambers during his career.
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