Friday, July 3, 2009

Eddie Chambers vs Alexander Dimitrenko Preview

Michael Nelson previews tomorrow's heavyweight match-up between Eddie Chambers and Alexander Dimitrenko.

"Fast" Eddie Chambers is well aware that it will take more than speed to win the WBO Heavyweight title eliminator in Hamburg, Germany against Alexander Dimitrenko.

“I have to step on the gas the entire night and (force him to) fight at a pace he isn’t used to.”

Awesome - if he maintains a high punch output, not only will we have a good fight on our hands Saturday, but the talented Chambers may be able to present himself as a legitimate threat to the Klitschkos. Problem is, we've heard this before. He has said something similar prior to every one of his significant fights since, well, people started noticing he didn't punch as much as he should. Notably, he got outworked in Berlin by Alexander Povetkin after promising to throw more punches than he did against Calvin Brock, and looked timid against an out-of-shape Sam Peter for long stretches of their March 27 bout after insisting that the Povetkin performance was an anomaly.

It's clear that it's not an anomaly. It's how he generally fights, which doesn't bode well for winning a decision in the backyard of a relatively active, athletic opponent six inches taller than him.

Along with a strong work rate for a heavyweight, Dimitrenko has a few stones in his hands. He's stopped seven of his last eight foes; taking out Luan Krasniqi with a body shot in the third round in his last bout, blowing out Malcolm Tann three rounds earlier than the aggressive Chris Arreola (who was 20 pounds lighter than he's recently been), and being the only man to stop Timo Hoffman.

The 26 year old German is also a determined body puncher; a dynamic that's refreshing to see from a European fighter with the physical dimensions of Wladimir and Vitali, who fight as if shots below the chest are illegal punches. Similarly refreshing, he has an active inside game that revolves around uppercuts instead of automatic clinching and draping around a shorter opponents' neck.

Even so, while Alexander is the stronger, busier puncher, Eddie is much quicker, has the better jab, and is harder to hit with flush punches. But Chambers will have to pump his jab energetically and shoot his right hand more than a few times a round. Diminitrenko often moves around the ring, so control of the center of the ring can be maintained by the shorter man with a stiff jab to the chest and face and a right hand established more as a consistent threat than a rare nuisance.

If Chambers steps out of character a bit, he'll give himself a good chance to win the title eliminator and set up his dream fight against Wladimir. If not, he'll see flashbacks of his last visit to Germany, and fans will see more excuses and broken promises from a skilled but underachieving heavyweight.

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