Fit And Focused Like Never Before, Could Eddie Chambers Be America's Best Young Heavyweight After All?
by James Slater - The question posed by the title of this article will be null and void if "Fast" Eddie Chambers loses emphatically to Alexander Dimitrenko tomorrow night in Germany. But after having seen how incredibly fit and in shape the 27-year-old has got himself for the WBO elimination bout against his unbeaten rival, the question must be asked: could this version of the 34-1(18) Chambers be the best bet the US has of regaining at least a portion of the heavyweight title?
We always knew how gifted and talented the sweet-boxing Philly man was, the moans and groans regarding Chambers were about his seeming lack of commitment to fighting at his optimum weight. "Fast" Eddie promised us after his recent points win over former WBC champ Sam Peter that the next time we saw him his body would look, "like you guys think it should." Chambers kept his word.
Looking magnificent at the 209-pound-mark, Eddie now has as good a chance as he will ever have to fulfil his vast potential. Sure, one other complaint aimed at Chambers has been his seeming reluctance to let his hands go for the full 10 or 12 rounds. But that may well have been a psychological thing on the part of the 6'1" fighter who has weighed-in at as much as 224-pounds in the past; with him being somewhat concerned that he would run out of gas in the later rounds if he overly exerted himself while carrying such a poundage - maybe this is what happened in the loss to Alexander Povetkin.. This cannot be a concern for Eddie in this fight, though, for two reasons: One: he knows he simply cannot afford to lose this fight, and Two: in truly great shape for the first time, Chambers has no need to worry about fading.
Now looking and feeling like the complete fighter he always knew he was, Chambers has to put it all together against the much bigger, but slower, Dimitrenko - a fighter who is also vulnerable to a good shot. Simply put, if he works as hard in the ring as he clearly has in the gym, and barring a shock KO loss, Chambers can only lose if he throws the fight away by reverting back to his previous and admittedly lackadaisical frame of mind. With so much at stake - and to repeat - this can't happen!
The sky really will be the limit for Chambers if he can come home with a statement-making win tomorrow. A guaranteed shot at the WBO heavyweight title (currently held by Wladimir Klitschko, of course) will be his and a chance of restoring US heavyweight pride also. In the recent past, when fans discussed who the best young American big man is today, the names Chris Arreola, Kevin Johnson and Chambers were put forth with most belief. The knock on Chambers - the fighter many said would be their choice for the best young US heavy if he was in top shape - was that he didn't want it enough.
Look at the weigh-in photos for tomorrow's big fight; this accusation cannot be aimed at "Fast" Eddie any longer. In top shape at last, all Chambers needs to do now is perform like we've all seen him perform - but for the full 12-rounds. If he does, and barring a robbery, America's fight fans will know who their country's best young heavyweight is. And they will find out on July 4th, at that!
Article posted on 03.07.2009