Vitali Klitschko´s little brother, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Vladimir Klitschko, all 6´7´´ and 244 lbs of him, takes to the ring this weekend when he defends his titles against American stylist ”Fast” Eddie Chambers at the sold out, 51,500 capacity ESPRIT arena in Dusseldorf, Germany on Saturday night.
It is Klitschko´s first ring appearance since his 9th round TKO over the then WBA champion Ruslan Chagaev last June.
33 year old Klitschko (53-3, 47 ko´s), six inches taller and 35lbs heavier than the 27 year old Philadelphian Chambers (35-1, 18 ko´s) will go into the ring a heavy 1/10 favorite, with Chambers the 6/1 underdog (bet365).
The Ukrainian is undefeated for six years. His three career defeats were stoppage losses against heavy punchers Ross Purity, Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster. Since employing the legendary trainer Emmanuel Steward from the fabled Kronk Gym in Detroit, Klitschko´s defense has tightened up considerably, he is more patient and less reckless.
Klitschko´s list of victims reads like a who´s who of heavyweight boxing of the past fifteen years, with names like Franz Botha, Ray Mercer, Chris Byrd, Jameel McCline, Sam Peter, Calvin Brock, Sultan Ibragimov, Tony Thompson, Ray Austin, Hasim Rahman and Ruslan Chagaev all accounted for. All apart from Thompson and Austin have at one time or other been a world champion.
Tonight’s fight will be Klitschko´s 13th title defense in two reigns as heavyweight champion.
His challenger Eddie Chambers is regarded as currently the best American heavyweight boxing today, ahead of the likes of Tony Thompson, Chris Arreola and Kevin Johnson. Johnson and Arreola are both recent victims of WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko.
A stylist more than a puncher, Chambers is on the small side by modern heavyweight standards. His sole defeat was a decision loss to the very capable Russian Alexander Povetkin in Berlin in January, 2008. Last year he scored the two best wins of his career, outpointing hulking former WBC heavyweight champion, Nigerian Sam Peter in March, and following that up four months later with a victory over the previously undefeated 6´7´´, 253 lb Ukrainian contender Alexander Dimitrenko.
Chambers is ranked 3rd by the IBF, and is the WBO mandatory no.1 contender, so his credential as a worthy challenger can´t be qusetioned. A likeable character with a cute style that sometimes resembles that of Roy Jones Jr, he is a creditable opponent, and Vladimir Klitschko certainly isn’t taking him lightly;
“Eddie may not be the tallest boxer but he is enormously fast and difficult to box against,” Klitschko told reporters.
“He is extremely dangerous, super fast, very agile, very athletic and above all he has his mind set on taking the title away. But I will not allow that. I have to work hard with my punches.”
Chambers himself is fired up for his title challenge;
“I have never prepared better for a fight. Now I want to shock the world and take the title belts off Klitschko,” Chambers told reporters during a training session. “I will not do what others have tried. I want this victory.”
Talented as he undoubtedly is, its difficult to see Chambers making much inroad past Klitschko´s lance like left jab. And with the dynamite the Ukrainian possesses in both hands a constant threat, Chambers will be forced to concentrate on little else but defense.
Klitschko by a one-sided points decision.
Big Fight odds; Klitschko 1/10, Chambers 6/1 bet365