Taking The Next Step??

By Tom Donelson, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: November 1, 2009

Eddie Chambers

Eddie Chambers

IOWA CITY (BASN) — A few months ago, I did not view Eddie Chambers as the best American heavyweight but over the past few months, Chambers has improved in my estimation.

His victory against the tall Alex Poktvin and Chris Arreola’s defeat at the hand of Vitali Klitschko demonstrated that while Arreola has the power; Chambers has the best techniques of American heavyweights.

Arreola looked the part of the next great American heavyweight and at 28, he certainly has the talent to become a heavyweight champion but at this stage of his career; he does not have the skill to beat the Klitschko brothers and still has much to learn.

As for Chambers, the knock on him was not his skills; but his lack of heavyweight punch and in past fights a tendency to play defense while allowing other fighters to stay in fights.

Against Samuel Peter, Chambers gave the Nigerian fighter a boxing lesson and there were times that Peter looked ready to go but Chambers simply allowed Peter to pound on him at times during the bout and deflected much of Peter’s power punches.

This was a fight that was closer than what it should have been. Against Poktvin, Chambers put it all together against an elite heavyweight and reminded folks why he just might be the best American heavyweight.

As for Arreola, his power gives him an advantage over the other two top heavyweights, Chambers and Kevin Johnson but these two heavyweights are superior boxers.

Sluggers like Arreola can end a fight with one punch and Arreola has always been a busy fighter; a busier fighter than his other American heavyweight contemporaries. Sluggers like Arreola can learn boxing skills and avoid getting hit.

Against Klitschko, he merely became a punching bag.

The key question for Arreola is whether he learns the nuance of the sport and gets himself in top shape to become an elite heavyweight. A few years back, Samuel Peter looked like the next great thing in the heavyweight division with clubbing punches that could paralyze a opponent with just one shot.

But he never seem to learn the nuance of the sport and his last several fights; he has regressed as a fighter. Team Arreola needs to ensure that their fighter doesn’t follow Peter’s path.

Kevin Johnson is schedule to fight Vitali Klitschko and he certainly has the boxing skills to pull an upset. Despite having a three knockout winning streak; Johnson is not a heavy puncher. He is bigger than Chambers but with less experience.

In Johnson’s fourth fight, he found himself fighting the then undefeated Timur Ibragimov, a fighter not only extensive amateur experience but a fighter with three times as many professional fights.

Johnson fought the more experienced Ibragimov to a draw.

In his last three fights, he knocked out veterans Bruce Seldon and Terry Smith as well as fellow American prospect Devin Vargas. Johnson has yet to fight a top ten heavyweight and while he has been more challenged than most prospect, he may not be ready to fight Vitali Klitschko, one of the two top heavyweights.

The reality is that the Klitshcko’s brothers own the heavyweight division and we already know that Chris Arreola can’t beat the Ukrainians at this stage in his career and we will find out if Johnson is competitive.

As for Chambers, he has shown that he can beat a big Russian.

But beating Poktvin is not the same as beating the Klitschko’s brothers.