Still The One To Beat

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: March 21, 2010

NEW YORK (BASN) — It came as to no surprise that hard-punching world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (54-3, 48KOs) defeated Eddie Chambers (35-2, 18 KOs) to retain his IBF/WBO and IBO titles in front of more than 51,000 at ESPIRIT Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany on Saturday.

What was surprising was just when Klitschko appeared to coast to a widespread decision win on the judges scorecards, the 6-foot-7, 244-pounder from Ukraine planted a perfectly-timed left hook that knocked out his smaller 6-foot-1, 208-pound, American challenger at 2:55 of round 12.

“I must give Chambers plenty of respect, he was very quick. I was looking for the knockout from the sixth round, but it didn’t come until much letter, so respect to him for that,” Klitschko said.

Unable to ruffle the cool and relaxed Klitschko, Chambers, a 27 year-old from Pittsburgh, picked up Klitschko and threw him down in the first few minutes of the bout.

Chambers ate plenty left jabs and straight-rights during the duration of the contest, but didn’t fight Klitschko the way previous opponents did. Chambers simply didn’t stand in front of Wladimir.

Chambers showed a lot of feints and head movement. He also used his reflexes to surprise Klitschko with a sharp arsenal of left jabs to the boy and straight-rights over and around Klitschko’s left jab.

However, the problem was that Chambers threw his punches too far from the outside. The talented American fighter couldn’t find the range to hit Klitschko as often he did Alexander Dimintrenko and Samuel Peter last year.

Everyone gave credit to Chambers for being fast, but Klitschko too has fast hands and quick feet for a big man. Klitschko’s footwork allowed him to move backwards and away from Chambers punches.

Once again, Klitschko’s powerful left jab allowed him to control the tempo of the fight and make Chambers miss. He simply couldn’t reach the champion.

Ultimately, Chambers got caught with a Klitschko bomb that put him way. The victory marked the eighth defense of the IBF heavyweight title he won by knocking out Chris Byrd in a rematch four years ago.

Klitschko has since added the WBO heavyweight crown and defeated a number of American heavyweights including: Hasim Rahman, Ray Austin, Calvin Brock, Lamon Brewster, and Tony Thompson.

The win was also Klitschko’s fourth defense of the WBO belt he won from Sultan Ibragimov in February 2008. In his previous bout in June 2009, Klitschko pummeled WBA champion Ruslan Chagaev through nine rounds before retiring on his stool. Chagaev’s WBA title wasn’t on the line.

It’s amazing how a fighter whom a lot of writers and boxing experts said didn’t have the heart, chin, or the stamina is on top of the world heavyweight title landscape along with older brother, WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko.