The other half of the elimination tourney upstarts, Eddie Chambers (29-0, 16 KOs) will get a chance to follow Alex Povetkin’s lead, get out his hammer, and tap a nail into a once-highly regarded heavyweight’s career coffin, when he gloves up against Calvin Brock (31-1, 23 KOs) in an IBF heavyweight title eliminator scrap on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET tonight.
The winner of the 12-rounder in Tacoma, Washington will face 2004 Olympic Games gold medalist Povetkin, who tapped a nail into Chris Byrd’s hopes to once again be a heavyweight player on October 27, and gain the right to challenge IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Getting out my predictor cap, I’m leaning towards the speedier, of foot and fist, Chambers sending the 32-year-old Brock closer to the end of this vocational road.
“When the opportunity to fight Brock popped up, I jumped at the chance,” the 25-year-old Philly-honed Chambers said. “To be a fight or two from fighting for the world title is really exciting and what it is all about. I am totally enjoying all of this.
“I have a lot of respect for Calvin and expect a pretty tough fight. But because I respect him doesn’t mean I am intimidated.
“Calvin is good at a lot of things and I expect to see him at his best Friday. The only fights I watched of his were when he was at his best.”
Not to be deliberately flip, but there haven’t been as many of those sort of outings in Brock’s six-year pro career as he, or those that touted him, would’ve liked.
Yes, he has only one loss, but that came in his potential breakthrough bout, against Wladimir Klitschko on Nov. 11, 2006, at Madison Square Garden. He never got untracked in that effort, which saw him getting finished off in the seventh round of the title shot. His best wins came against an end-of-the line Clifford Etienne (Jan. 2005) and Jameel McCline (April 2005) in a tight tussle. Tilting the tone more toward the negative, it turns out that Brock has weighed in at 241 pounds yesterday for the beef, his highest recorded poundage in 32 pro tiffs.
“I feel I am coming up to my best fight,” Brock maintains. “You are going to see me faster and lighter on my feet. I will be working the jab, letting my punches go with both hands. Condition wise, I feel better at this weight than I did at 225. He is supposed to be quick. I think I am quicker.”
That would be a nifty trick, if he’s able to weigh 20 pounds more than he did two years ago, and be faster than when he was trimmer.
Chambers begs to differ, too.
“Brock he is not all that fast and that is one of the things I expect to take advantage of and will try to exploit,” he said. “He may try and jump on me early, but I am ready for that or anything.
“I know if I pick my spots, give him lots of angles, fight smart, throw him off and disrupt his timing, I’ll be OK. I’ve had the best training, am totally focused and definitely ready to fight.
This may not be a barnburner, as neither man has an overabundance of shark blood in their veins. Expect to Chambers to confound the beefier “Boxing Banker,” pepper him with swift but light flurries, and take a resounding decision.
Brock maintains that he’s not looking past the unbeaten, but only minimally tested pup.
“I am not overlooking or taking Chambers for granted because I respect him as a fighter,” he said. “But I really don’t see how he is going to beat me. He is undefeated, but I am not totally impressed. I thought his fight with Dominick Guinn was a whole lot closer than the judges had it.
“You are going to see a different Calvin Brock than the one who fought Klitschko. I have worked really hard for this fight, but unlike the Klitschko fight, this time I am not overtrained. I peaked three weeks too early and was stale against Klitschko. It’s been a tough camp, but a good one. Having the great Pernell Whitaker working with me has really helped, too. I am really looking forward to having a great night on Friday.’’
I think it’s possible, or probable, that because Brock had too many “great” nights of eating in training, that tonight will not be a great success for him.