Eddie Chambers Enters Heavyweight Title Tournament

By Francis Walker
Updated: September 16, 2007

NEW YORK — For Eddie Chambers (29-0, 16 KOs), the opportunity to participate in an IBF elimination tournament to determine a new mandatory challenger for world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko is a dream come true.

“Yes, definitely,” Chambers said during an exclusive interview with BASN. “This is the opportunity that will put me in line for a title shot. This is only the beginning.”

Chambers, an undefeated 25-year-old from Philadelphia, is one of four heavyweight contenders ranked by the International Boxing Federation. The No. 10-rated Chambers, along with Calvin Brock (No. 3), Chris Byrd (No. 4), and Alexander Povekin (No. 10) will meet each other to determine just who will challenge Klitschko next year for the unified IBF/IBO heavyweight titles.

Klitschko is scheduled to make an optional defense between January-February of next year before fighting the winner of the IBF heavyweight elimination tournament next summer.

In the interim, Byrd is preparing to fight Povekin on Oct. 27, while Chambers is scheduled to face Calvin Brock the following week on Nov. 2. Chambers is very optimistic about his chances of beating Brock.

“Against Brock, I’d have to move in and out,” Chambers said. “I have to do more basic foot movement. I’d have to fight in and out, taking the fight to him. I’d make him throw punches so that I can counter and get open shots.”

Chambers is also intrigued by the match-up between Byrd, a former two-time heavyweight champion, and Povekin, a young heavyweight upstart and former Olympic gold medalist looking to make his mark on heavyweight landscape.

“Byrd had a title and has been in big fights against some of the great fighters of his era,” Chambers said. “Povekin is young and trying to get to the top in the pro ranks. Byrd’s experience and age against a hungry guy in Povekin. I like Byrd’s style and how he fought punchers. It’s a very good matchup.”

Although Klitschko has already beaten Byrd and Brock a combined three times in as many fights, it’s not as if the IBF is issuing sympathy passes for an automatic shot at redemption. Both Byrd and Brock would have to work hard to surpass the challenges of Chambers and Povekin, another young unbeaten heavyweight before crossing paths.

The winners will then meet one another in the final to determine who will challenge Klitschko for the unified IBF/IBO heavyweight championships in the summer of 2008.

Chambers understands that winning the tournament is one thing, but fighting a 6-foot-7, 245-pound puncher that is trained by Emmanuel Steward will be a very daunting task.

“You’ve got to be very well prepared,” Chambers said about a potential fight with Klitschko. “I’d have to be ready to take a little bit more punishment. Having Emmanuel Steward instructing him makes him a very tough fighter.”

“If I can fight inside, making him feel uncomfortable, step around him and catch him with a few good shots, I might be able to force a stoppage.”

Chambers is a fresh new face in the heavyweight landscape. At 6-feet-1 and 215 pounds, Chambers is regarded as a small heavyweight compared to the other more established heavys that are at least 6-feet-4 and over 235 pounds. But Chambers has fast hands and has made a name for himself as a fighter to watch for.

In his recent bout, Chambers soundly out-boxed Dominick Guinn through 10 rounds in May. Chambers has kept busy fighting at least three times per year since he began his professional career in December 2001. The hard work has paid off, as Chambers is two victories way from challenging for a world heavyweight championship.