Fast Eddie Chambers discovered what most heavyweights never understand, that lower weight means more energy.
“I felt more fluid, more faster and believe it or not, more stronger,” said Chambers who weighed in at 205 for his victory over Ukraine’s Alexander Dimitrenko this past weekend.
In this age of massive heavyweights scaling more than 240 pounds, the smaller and sleeker Chambers showed that fighters of yesteryear who weighed 190 to 217 pounds definitely had something going for them as elite heavyweights. They had less baggage.
Chambers performance puts a stamp of approval on the smaller weight issue being a better course.
Even Dan Goossen, president of Goossen-Tutor Promotions, who has often debated with reporters over the importance of heavyweights not entering the ring over 230, 240 and even 250 pounds at times, felt compelled to comment on Chambers display while fighting at his lowest weight in years.
“Our great heavyweights of the past were in the high 190s and low 200s,” said Goossen, citing great fighters of 1950s through 1980s. “Saturday night, for those that didn’t see it, Eddied was a true fighter. He was throwing a lot more punches.”
The increased volume punching came from the excess energy gained from dropping the dead weight that he harbored in previous fights. The Philadelphia fighter weighed 223 against Samuel Peter and 221 against Cisse Salif. Though he won both fights, most felt he was just good enough to beat those fighters. Last Saturday he was more than good enough. He was dominant in Germany, a place that can be rather hostile to American heavyweights or fighters of any division.
“The change in Eddie was apparent,” said Goossen, who credited trainer and manager Rob Murray for the difference too. “We just never had that consistency before round by round from the first round to the 12th round.”
In Chambers previous Germany expedition 19 months ago, he jumped ahead of Alexander Povetkin and suddenly lost steam like a ruptured blimp. He lost the fight before a worldwide audience and a chance to face a world champion heavyweight in the process. It took several fights and a lesson learned to battle back.
“I gave that fight away,” Chambers says somberly.
Murray did not train Chambers in that last German adventure, but has become the chief second for the last five fights.
“For the first time we had a target weight. We wanted to target about 210, 209 (pounds). We started right away with our dieting,” said Murray who worked with Yank Durham the former trainer of Joe Frazier. “You have not seen the best of Eddie Chambers yet.”
That near knockout victory over Dimitrenko places Chambers in the number one spot on the WBO heavyweight contender list. Wladimir Klitschko holds the WBO and IBF titles and would have to face the Philly fighter some time in December.
It also places Goossen in the prime position of having two top American heavyweights in position to gain one or two world heavyweight titles with Chambers and California’s undefeated Chris Arreola.
“They’re both in a different direction, both sitting in the number one spot, Arreola is on a mission to get to Vitali and Eddie is on a mission to get Wladimir,” said Goossen. “If both were able to achieve the success and that’s upsetting the Klitschko train, you can only imagine how big a unification fight would be.”
Dreams are one thing but to beat an East European heavyweight fighter in Germany, though it was a majority decision, is the stuff dreams are made of.
“By around round three or four the body punches were hurting him. I realized how much stronger I felt at that light weight,” Chambers said.
Just the facts
When Muhammad Ali fought George Foreman in 1974 he weighed 216 pounds while Big George weighed 220. In the three bouts Ali faced Ken Norton he weighed no more than 221 pounds. Norton weighed 210, 205 and 217 pounds in his three clashes with Ali, the last one taking place in 1976 in Yankee Stadium.