As an undersized heavyweight standing 6-foot-1, “Fast” Eddie Chambers, always appeared to be facing an uphill battle.
Chambers was out-weighed, 227-to-219 by 6-2 Russian Alexander Povetkin prior to his unanimous-decision loss in January of 2008. He was dwarfed, 244-to-209 by 6-6 RING champion Wladimir Klitschko for his 12th-round stoppage loss in March of 2010.
For his last fight in June of last year, a disputed split-decision loss to Tomasz Adamek, Chambers (36-3, 18 knockouts), of Philadelphia, weighed a career-low 202 against a former light heavyweight and cruiserweight titleholder who tipped the scales at 225.
But on the Aug. 3 from Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn., in an event that will be televised on NBC Sports, Chambers will debut as a 200-pounder against Thabiso “The Rock” Mchunu (13-1, 10 KOs), of South Africa, a muscular 24-year old southpaw who will be after his fourth-straight stoppage victory since being knocked out in the sixth round by Zack Mwekassa in September of 2011.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. I always thought that if I could fight guys my own size, I’d have the opportunities and the upper hand,” said Chambers, 31, who weighed 208 pounds and scored a knockdown during a majority-decision triumph over previously unbeaten, 6-foot-7, 254-pound Alexander Dimitrenko in January of 2008.
“At cruiserweight, I feel as comfortable as I did at heavyweight. My last fight with Tomasz Adamek, I was only at 202. So the transition should be seamless. It shouldn’t be a problem. As far as the experience I had at heavyweight, obviously that will serve me well. However, when you move down a weight class, the guys tend to be a little more elusive and a little more coordinated. No one is going to have a speed advantage over me, but they are slightly faster than heavyweights. So I have to prepare to be faster as well.”
ADAMEK COULD FACE PROMOTIONAL STABLEMATE BRYANT JENNINGS
A 38-year-old who ended a three-fight losing streak with last month’s first-round stoppage of Stacey Frazier, Guinn has replaced Tony Grano, who suffered a neck injury.
If Adamek is successful against Guinn, Duva could match him against promotional stablemate Bryant Jennings (17-0, 9 KOs), winner of his past three bouts by stoppage.
“That’s a great possibility, although I’m just not sure at this point that I would go that far. It’s certainly plausible, let’s put it that way. It could happen,” said Duva of a potential Adamek-Jennings bout.
“But it’s way too early to say whether it will or when it will or anything like that. We’ve just got to win this August fight, and then see if a few things can fall into place so that we can make it real, and then, we’ll let you know.”
SAMPSON LEWKOWICZ SIGNS ONCE-BEATEN JESUS MARCELO CUELLAR
A 26-year-old southpaw, Cuellar will pursue his fourth-straight knockout victory on Aug. 23 against the Dominican Republic’s Claudio Marrero (14-0, 11 KOs), owner of two consecutive knockout wins, at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. In the co-main event, IBF junior lightweight titleholder Argenis Mendez (21-2, 11 KOs) will face Arash Usmanee (20-1, 10 KOs).
Cuellar’s advisor, Sebastian Contursi, also works with welterweight Marcos Maidana, and Lewkowicz also has junior featherweight Oscar Escandon (22-0, 15 KOs) facing Nehomar Cermeno (21-5-1, 13 KOs) on Aug. 10 in Panama.
ANDRE BERTO, KEITH THURMAN, OMAR FIGUEROA HIGHLIGHT SHOWTIME’S KNOCKOUT KINGS II
Florida welterweights Andre Berto (28-2, 22 KOs) and Keith “One Time” Thurman (20-0, 18 KOs) as well as lightweight prospect Omar Figueroa Jr. (21-0-1, 17 KOs) are featured in a highlight video ahead of Saturday’s Showtime-televised tripleheader in San Antonio.
Berto will face rugged Jesus Soto Karass (27-8-3, 17 KOs) in his first fight under new trainer Virgil Hunter Thurman faces hammer-fisted Diego Chaves (22-0, 18 KOs), who is in pursuit of his sixth consecutive knockout victory. Figueroa, who is coming off April’s first-round stoppage of previously undefeated Abner Cotto, is matched with Japan’s Nihito Arakawa (24-2-1, 16 KOs).
Photo by Mike Greenhill
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]