Eddie Chambers - "I Want To Fight Wladimir Klitschko For The Real Title"
Exclusive Interview by James Slater - 27-year-old "Fast" Eddie Chambers, 35-1(18) is currently "playing the waiting game" with regards to his earned shot at Ring magazine, WBO and IBF heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko. Coming off his fine win over the huge Alexander Dimitrenko back on July 4th, Philly's Chambers is hoping to face "Dr. Steel Hammer" soon. But, as fans may have read, there is the possibility Chambers may be offered a rematch with Russia's Alexander Povetkin, who will reportedly be fighting soon for an interim version of Klitschko's IBF belt.
Article posted on 21.10.2009
I called the always friendly Chambers up yesterday, and asked him about his thoughts on facing Povetkin in a rematch, his chances against Wladimir Klitschko, and other things. A delight to talk with as always, here is what "Fast" Eddie had to say in response to my questions:
James Slater: Thank you for your time, Eddie. It's always a pleasure to speak with you, one of the gentlemen of the sport who is very popular.
Eddie Chambers: I hope so (laughs).
J.S: Oh, absolutely, especially after your last fight, a great win I'll get to later if that's okay. Firstly, what's the latest on you? We hear Alexander Povetkin will be fighting for the interim version of the IBF heavyweight title - either against you or Sam Peter. What's your take on that?
E.C: Well, we're not one hundred percent sure right now. I'd be extremely confident if I did take that fight though. But I'm the number-one contender [for Wladimir Klitschko] right now and I don't see what else I have to do to get a shot at Klitschko, I don't think I have to do any more. So we're kind of playing the waiting game now, for the next couple of months..
J.S: Of course, you are the WBO mandatory for Wladimir, so you have earned the fight with him already, so why earn it again, right? Would you much rather fight for the "real" title, so to speak?
E.C: Right, there is that. Plus there's the possibility of picking up an injury [in a fight with Povetkin]. I wouldn't want to go over there [to Germany] and pick up a hand injury or a cut - I wouldn't want to take that chance. Really, I'd rather fight for the real title against Wladimir Klitschko. Don't get me wrong, it's [a fight with Povetkin] a really big opportunity, but I'd rather fight for the real title. It's not that I think I'd lose [to Povetkin], I don't think I'll lose whoever I fight.
J.S: A concern some people have is, what if you stay idle - although I know you'll be in the gym - will you, a heavyweight who relies on his sharpness and reflexes more than most, lose that sharpness if you stay out of the ring for months. Is that a concern for you, Eddie?
E.C: If I have to wait a real long time, like a year or something, I will obviously take a stay-busy type of fight - or I will look at taking this fight [with Povetkin]. I will stay in the gym, no question. I won't sit idle, I know I have to stay busy. As I say, I'm not sure yet; we'll see what happens with the Povetkin situation.
J.S: Just going back to your last fight, the great win over Alexander Dimitrenko. I thought you really put out all your best stuff in that fight - a fight many people said you'd lose. Was that your best performance as a pro do you think?
E.C: Looking at the fight as a whole, and the importance of the fight - being as how Dimitrenko is the same height, a little taller actually, than the Klitschko brothers - the win proved I can contend with those guys. It was my best win and the most important win of my career.
J.S: For a guy some critics say can't punch that hard, you sure hurt Dimitrenko - to the body and to the head. But one judge somehow had the fight a draw. Were you nervous while waiting for the announcement of the scores in Germany?
E.C: When I heard the numbers, that one judge had it a draw, I sat there and thought, "Oh, my God, this is the kind of thing that happens!" I had that fear going in. But thankfully the two other judges got it right, or nearly right. So it was a great day for me. But I do think about what will happen when I have to go over there again. You know, will the judges do the same thing [as the one who scored the Dimitrenko fight a draw]? I'm sceptical. What if the judges go further and go against me this time? I know I have to go and handle business, and it's so much better to stop a guy if you can.
J.S: As great as you looked against Dimitrenko, a huge guy, can you do the same thing against the very good, or maybe even great Wladimir Klitschko? Is that a real possibility in your mind?
E.C: No doubt about it. Everyone looks at size, as though that gives me the disadvantage. But as tall as Wladimir is, he has disadvantages fighting on the inside. Plus I have the faster hands and my punches will get there quicker than his - with his longer arms, I will land my shots first, you know what I'm saying? So I will have advantages as well. You know, if I keep hitting his chin, even if it takes a hundred-and-fifty times, or just one time, I don't care who he is, he will eventually fall.
J.S: Most, if not all people now see you as the best U.S heavyweight, and the most likely American to bring one or more of the belts back home. Does that put added pressure on you?
E.C: That's a funny question, and people have asked me that. But no, not really. If you don't have pressure you're not doing the right thing with your career. You need that pressure. If I had a "I'm just going in to compete" attitude, I'd never get to the level I'm aiming at. So I welcome that extra pressure on my back. And I'm in peoples' mouths; whether they think I'll win or lose, people are talking about me. So that means I'm doing something right. I must be doing good at this! People know about me when I fight. And I feel that when I do get the world title, when I do get all the accolades, I will have earned it.
J.S: Can I just ask you, a student of the sport, how do you see Kevin Johnson doing against Vitali Klitschko? The fight was officially announced today. Do you know much about "King Pin?"
E.C: Absolutely. I've seen Kevin fight several times. I saw Vitali's last fight, with Chris Arreola, and that kind of proved my reasoning - Kevin has more of a chance because he has that great jab. But will he [Johnson] come forward? If he comes forward and uses that jab, Vitali's offence will be kept at a minimum and Kevin's offence will be at maximum. I do think Johnson can give Vitali trouble.
J.S: Who knows, maybe you and Johnson will meet one day in a fight for the unified titles?
E.C: Wouldn't that be nice? I believe we [US heavyweights] are the best in the world, and I think we can get back and bring the titles back home. Things are kind of upside down right now, but I still think we are the best. But anyway, whatever happens next for me, it's great to have all you guys' support, with the interviews and everything. I really appreciate the support.
J.S: It's been great speaking with you once again, Eddie. We look forward to your next fight, and hopefully it will be for the world title.
E.C: Okay, take it easy, man.
previous article: Were the Old-Time Fighters Tougher? Part II
next article: Can Yuriorkis Gamboa Become The First Man To Stop Bernabe Concepcion?