Chambers Hits The Wall

By Tom Donelson
Updated: January 29, 2008

Evelast GlovesIOWA CITY, Ia. — Once again another American heavyweight hit the wall.Fast” Eddie Chambers had his chance to make his mark on the heavyweight division and for the first four rounds, he took full measure of Russian fighter Alexander Povetkin.

Using great defensive skills and blazing fast hands, Chambers consistently nailed Povetkin. As the fifth round began, Povetkin’s left eye began to swell but the one thing that Povetkin did do well; he continued with his game plan.

He kept the pressure on Chambers and despite his accuracy, Povetkin moved forward as Chambers’ biggest weakness started to take hold. Lack of a big power punch hurt Chambers as Povetkin decided that he already took his best.

In his victory over Calvin Brock, Chambers played defense and strictly depended upon counterpunching. This made many round closer than what they should have been as Brock continued to throw punches; even if they failed to hit their target.

In the fifth round, Chambers moved away from his left jab and began to play defense. Povetkin pressure tactics began to wear Chambers down and this was shown in the last two rounds as he barely threw 40 punches over the last two rounds against Povetkin.

Povetkin’s victory came because he threw more punches. Chambers actually connected on as many punches as his Russian opponent but he threw only one-third the punches. This lack of activity doomed him with the judges over the last half of the fight as he did not appear to win any rounds after the fifth.

Chambers countered effectively but not often enough and punches that fail to land in the early rounds finally found their targets. In the early rounds, Povetkin sweeping right never caught Chambers flush as his head movement often allowed him to escape.

In the second half, those punches landed as the bruises on Chamber’s left side demonstrated. He connected on over half of his punches and appeared able to hit Povetkin any time but he allowed Povetkin to take the fight over.

And Povetkin showed himself a fighter who could adapt as he moved from a pressure stance to a move conventional boxing style that forced Chambers to follow him over the last two rounds.

Povetkin countered Chambers and he never could pull the trigger on his own punches.

For Povetkin, he took a giant step forward to an eventual fight with the winner of the Klitschko- Ibragimov fight. As for Chambers, it is back to the drawing point.

His strength is his accuracy and he certainly took Povetkin best and never was in serious trouble. Max Kellerman suggested after the fight that maybe Chambers should consider moving down to Cruiserweights where his hand speed would aid against the best Cruiserweight and maybe at that weight, his power would be more pronounced.

Chambers’ biggest strength is his counterpunching. He is not easy to hit and despite the volume of punches Povetkin threw, the Russian barely connected on 20 percent of his punches.

His defensive style hurts him with the judges and the real question that Team Chambers need to ask; can Chambers beat the bigger Heavyweights? Chris Byrd showed that a small Heavyweight with great defensive skills can survive and win a title on the Heavyweight level.

The difference between the two could be seen in how they reacted in key fights over the final two rounds when the fight was on the line. Chambers could not find the right combinations against Povetkin.

In his fight with McCline, Byrd threw nearly 200 punches over the final two rounds with the fight on the line. Byrd pulled out a victory.

Chambers is only 25 years old and still has long career ahead of him. And the Povetkin defeat gave Chambers both something hopeful to hang on to, like his accuracy.

It also showed that Chambers lack of heavyweight power will be his biggest liability.