Boxing: eddie chambers

What's next for Bryant Jennings?

January, 17, 2013
Early last year, really no one had heard of Bryant Jennings. This year, he is at the top of the heap among American heavyweight hopefuls. I asked promoter/matchmaker Russell Peltz, who is with Main Events, promoter of Jennings, what's next for the new kid on the block.

A fight with vet Michael Grant was discussed, Peltz said, but Grant turned it down. A slot might open up for 16-0 Jennings on HBO in the second quarter, Peltz said. Jennings is rated No. 3 by the IBF and the guys ahead of him, Kubrat Pulev and Tomasz Adamek, are slated to face off, with the winner to get a crack at IBF champ Wladimir Klitschko. That could occur in or around June, maybe in Adamek's homeland, Poland.

Peltz said he'd love to match Jennings with the winner of the upcoming Jonathon Banks-Seth Mitchell scrap. "But if I'm Banks, I want Klitschko next," said Peltz. "But we'd fight anyone from Europe. We'd take Robert Helenius in a heartbeat."

Eddie Chambers was to face off with cruiser champ Denis Lebedev, but now Peltz doesn't know if that will go down. "I think Lebedev is changing his mind," he said.

Another Main Events big guy, Steve Cunningham, has had some preliminary discussions with long, tall Brit Tyson Fury, Cunningham told me Tuesday.

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Adamek beats Chambers in Jersey

June, 17, 2012
His record won't indicate it, but June 16, 2012 was and will be one of the best professional nights of Eddie Chambers' life.

The Philadelphia heavyweight lost to Tomasz Adamek in the main event at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on a card televised by NBC's cable sports channel. But he did so with just one good arm, as he seemed to tear something in his left when throwing a hook in the first. With 34 seconds left in the start-up frame, his left was rendered useless -- he threw, missed and twice looked down at the crippled wing -- and he fought Poland's Adamek with one arm the rest of the way. The fight was a tight one, but the judges -- not being the sentimental sorts that I am -- gave Adamek the nod, by scores of 116-112 (twice), 119-109.

Adamek, 35, threw more but landed less. He went 134-919, as Chambers' elusiveness proved hard to handle over the whole 12. Chambers, 30, went 152-462, and this decision once again cements, as if it wasn't already glaringly apparent, that judges love the guy who punches more. Adamek threw more than Chambers and won. Timothy Bradley Jr. threw more than Manny Pacquiao last week and "won."

Now, I could be wrong -- and someone please alert me if I just missed this -- but it looked to me like Adamek's corner never picked up on the fact that Chambers didn't use his left hand at all after the first. Maybe trainer Roger Bloodworth did tell Adamek (now 46-2, 28 KOs) of this development and I missed it. If not, it goes to show you that even a wise hand like the vet Bloodworth can miss a big ol' thing in the haze of battle. Chambers dropped to 36-3 (18 KOs), but there was no shame in his game in Jersey on this night.

Chambers aiming (again) at Klitschko

June, 14, 2012
So ... it didn't go swimmingly the first time around. Would Eddie Chambers even want another go at a Klitschko, even if it meant another tasty payday?

"I would absolutely want another crack at [Wladimir] Klitschko," Chambers said. "He's the best out there, and I want to be the best out there, so the only way to be that is to beat him. Since that fight, I have been studying the sport. I watched the video to understand what he does, how effective he is."

Chambers had some time in the sun a couple years ago when he beat Sam Peter and then Alex Dimitrenko, and had some folks calling him a future Klitschko killer. Since then, fortune has smiled on other prospects, such as Seth Mitchell. We wondered, does this irk Chambers?

"Not really," he said. "I'm just glad to see that people are paying attention. He gets all that credit, but then it changes when he steps into the ring with someone like myself and that person beats him, and then all of a sudden it shifts. Now that person becomes 'the guy.' So if I get the shot at Seth Mitchell and defeat him, then all that hoopla and all that good stuff shifts over to me."

Part of me would like to see Chambers get a little PO'd, take some of this stuff personally. Main Events is in love with Bryant Jennings right now; Chambers should be wondering why he isn't the object of the promoter's affection.

"There's something about him [Jennings] that reminded me of Evander Holyfield when he was young," Main Events boss Kathy Duva said. "I mentioned that at the fighter meeting, and people jumped down my throat at that point. [Trainer] Freddie Roach said, 'You can't compare him to Evander Holyfield.' Well, when the fight ended, I went up to Freddie and said, 'Can I compare him to Evander now?' and he said 'Yeah.' And now he's [Roach] turned out saying he's [Jennings] the best young heavyweight out there."

Eddie, you listening? If you take out Adamek, if I'm you, I'm calling out Jennings -- if he beats Steve Collins on the June 16 undercard -- and demanding a faceoff, with winner to get Seth Mitchell. And if you beat Adamek, Jennings and then Mitchell, I do declare, there would be nothing iffy about another Klitschko crack. It would be earned, well earned.

N.J. fight could mean green for winner

June, 14, 2012
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.