- Michael Woods, Boxing
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Being green is hot the world over right now, even in the oftentimes backward world of boxing, where there is a sometimes perverse pride in being "old school." The Klitschko brothers have had their way in the heavyweight division for so long, we've reached a point where they are recycling opponents.
Because there is a paucity of heavyweight contenders, fighters can find themselves losing to a Klitschko, and if they bide their time and accumulate a few wins, after a couple years, they can secure another crack at one of the Brothers K. Little brother Wladimir is going green on July 7 in Switzerland, where he will defend his WBA, WBO and IBF crowns against Tony Thompson. He already defended against Thompson, a D.C. resident, back in July 2008, snagging a 11th-round knockout win.
It's hard to see what the 40-year-old Thompson could do to fashion a different, better outcome, save for the younger man turning old in the ring that night. But hope, and the quest for meaningful paydays, springs eternal in the fight game. So Thompson will look to get it done this time.
Meanwhile, two veteran heavyweights will gun for green, to enter the recycling track, on Saturday night in Newark, N.J. Tomasz Adamek will take on Eddie Chambers, and the winner will move a step closer to another go at a Klitschko. Adamek is the favorite in the scrap, which will unfold at the Prudential Center, and be televised on NBC's cable sports channel.
Adamek (45-2, 28 KOs), 35, of Poland, lost by 10th-round TKO to big bro Vitali last September, and bounced back with a win over Nagy Aguilera in March on another "Fight Night" card. Chambers has been out of the ring -- two fights were scrapped because he was injured -- since 12-round decision win over Deric Rossy in February 2011. At age 30, he would seem to have more upside than Adamek. So if he were to win, get some love from a sanctioning body and elevate to the top of the rankings heap, he could conceivably do better than he did in March 2010, when he was stopped by Wladimir in the 12th round in Dusseldorf.
"I know I am not the favorite versus Adamek," said Chambers (36-2, 18 KOs), of Philadelphia. "I'm definitely going to be the underdog. For the most part, most boxing people think that after spending a year and a half off I'm not going to be able to do it. But I have to, and I will.
"A win against Adamek is a huge step in the right direction for me. Being that I've been off for so long, to come right back and win would show what kind of fighter I am and can be. At that point, I will get a lot more respect and I'll get put in a position for a title very soon.
"Adamek is in a position for title contention at this point, so I think a win for me would put me right in his spot. My career has always been that I have to fight everybody, right back to back, so I'd rather just beat the best and get them out of the way."
Check back for more from Chambers.