A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Chambers Meets Brock, Winner Battles Povetkin For Shot At Crown
NEW YORK — Undefeated heavyweight prospect Eddie Chambers has been preparing for an opportunity to position himself for a world heavyweight title fight for a long time. Chambers is only two victories shy of realizing his dream of fighting IBF/IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Chambers (26-0, 19 KOs) will fight former heavyweight title challenger Calvin Brock (31-1, 23 KOs) in the second part of a heavyweight title elimination tournament mandated by the International Boxing Federation.
Chambers vs. Brock will commemorate Showtime Championship Boxing’s 100th telecast in the six-year history of ShoBox: The New Generation on Friday, November 2, at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington. SHOWTIME will televise live at 11 PM/ET.
“This is my big opportunity to show the boxing world that I am ready to take the next step toward my goal of becoming heavyweight champion of the world,” said Chambers, who is ranked No. 10 by the IBF.
“A win over Brock and I am that much closer to my match-up with (current IBF) heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko,” Chambers added. “But I am not thinking that far ahead, as I am focused on a very dangerous opponent.”
The first part of the tournament occurred on Saturday in Germany when 2004 Olympic heavyweight gold medalist and current IBF No. 11 ranked contender, Alexander Povetkin stopped former IBF and WBO heavyweight champion and previously ranked No. 5 contender, Chris Byrd. The fight was stopped when Byrd, surprisingly did not come out from his corner to start the eleventh round of a very tough and competitive fight.
Chambers is a young 25-year old fighter recognized for his hand speed and boxing skills. He’s a fresh new face on the horizon and can elevate his career from prospect to world heavyweight title contender in his next two fights. Chambers must first surpass Brock’s challenge. His only loss was a seventh round knockout when he challenged Klitschko for the title in November 2006.
“Chambers has a lot to prove,” Brock said. “I have been around the game, so I know what to do and what to expect. Chambers is still very green.”
Klitschko vs. Ibragimov to unify IBF/WBO heavyweight titles
February 23, is the targeted date for the return of IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (49-3, 44 KOs). The universally recognized heavyweight champion could defend his title in a possible unification bout with unbeaten WBO champion Sultan Ibragimov (22-0-1, 17 KOs).
It would mark the first time in more than eight years when two fighters fought to unify pieces of the heavyweight title. In 1999, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield fought twice to unify the WBC, WBA, and IBF championships.
Riddick Bowe is the only heavyweight to have won the WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO championships, but no fighter outside of former world middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins has ever held all four championships simultaneously.
Both Klitschko and Ibragimov have plenty of momentum and a fight between the two could be the jolt that is sorely needed in a soon-to-be reenergized heavyweight division.
In the last two years, no other fighter has fought the quality level of opposition and displayed a high level of performance than Klitschko. “Dr. Steel Hammer” survived three knockdowns to soundly out-box Sam Peter through twelve rounds. Klitschko won the IBF heavyweight title with an emphatic seventh round KO of Chris Byrd in April 2006 and has knocked out previously unbeaten Calvin Brock, Ray Austin, and Lamon Brewster in consecutive fights.
Ibragimov has had a wonderful 2007, winning all three of his fights. After knocking out Javier Mora in one round in March, Ibragimov decisioned Shannon Briggs after twelve rounds to win the WBO title in June. In his first defense, Ibragimov returned to his native Russia to outpoint a 44 year-old Evander Holyfield (W 12), who was looking to win an unprecedented fifth heavyweight championship.
Should Klitschko defeat Ibragimov (or vice versa), the winner would have assumed the responsibility of defending the unified IBF/WBO heavyweight titles against the No. 1-ranked contenders.
Tony Thompson is ranked No. 1 by the WBO. The Klitschko-Ibragimov victor will also have the obligation to face the IBF elimination tournament winner. Povetkin TKO’d Byrd in the first part of a three-fight elimination series and will await the winner of Eddie Chambers vs. Calvin Brock on Nov. 2nd. The Povetkin vs. Chambers/Brock winner will be declared the official No. 1-ranked contender by the IBF.
Peter vs. Maskaev rescheduled for February 2, 2008
WBC interim heavyweight champion Sam Peter’s mandatory challenge of WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskev has been tentatively rescheduled for February 2. Madison Square Garden has been mentioned as one of the leading sites for the bout.
The winner will then face WBC Champion Emeritus Vitali Klitschko, who retired in 2004 after several injured to his lower back and knees prevented him from making a mandatory defense against Hasim Rahman.
Peter was scheduled to challenge Maskev for the WBC title on October 6, at the Garden. The fight was postponed after Maskaev injured himself in training two weeks before the bout. Jameel McCline, whose bout with Vitali was cancelled after Klitschko re-injured himself in training, stepped in as a suitable substitute once Peter was named interim champion.
McCline fought perhaps the fight of his career when he dropped Peter three times in the first three rounds of the bout, but couldn’t finish. McCline allowed Peter to fight himself back into the fight to win a unanimous 12-round decision.