Expect some changes with Peter
Eddie Chambers didn't land too many right hands flush on the chin of Samuel Peter on Friday in Los Angeles but this one sure found the mark. Photo / Jan Sanders-Goossen Tutor
LOS ANGELES — Samuel Peter, a heavyweight titleholder only a year ago, has now lost two consecutive fights – a knockout to Vitali Klitschko in October and a majority decision to Eddie Chambers on Friday night at the Nokia Theater.
Where does he go from here?
“Hopefully to the top. I still think that’s where we’re going,” said Ivaylo Gotzev, Peter’s L.A.-based manager. “It’s just going to take a lot of hard work.”
Peter (30-3, 23 knockouts) showed more life than he did against the much-taller Klitschko, who pounded away at his docile opponent until the beaten and demoralized Nigerian finally quit on his stool after the eighth round.
Against Chambers, he was somewhat more aggressive, moving forward and throwing a good number of punches for much of the fight. And he carried his 265 pounds – 42 more than Chambers — better than some thought he would.
However, he was neither as aggressive nor effective as he needed to be to beat a fighter as slick and resilient as Chambers (34-1, 18 KOs). He just couldn’t catch his smart, fleet opponent to inflict significant damage.
Peter displayed the ferocity of his early career only when Chambers landed a crisp, hard punch. That seemed to wake up the warrior in him and he suddenly fired punches with ill intent. That was the exception on this night, though.
In other words, in the end, he tried to outbox a better boxer instead of imposing his will on a much smaller man.
That said, it wasn’t an easy fight to score. Two judges seemed to give Peter credit for his aggression, Marty Denkin scoring it 96-94 for Chambers and Max DeLuca scoring it 95-95. The third judge, Ray Corona, obviously was more impressed with Chambers’ ring generalship and scored it 99-91.
“I’m very disappointed,” Peter said immediately after the fight. “I don’t think (the scores) were accurate. I don’t agree with them. I felt I pressed him the whole fight. I’ll be back, though.”
Gotzev went further.
“I thought it was a close fight,” he said. “ÔÇª Chambers stole some rounds, I guess. But the guy sitting there licensed to be a judge, Mr. Corona, that kind of man should not be allowed to work for any (athletic) commission. They should take his license away.
“It’s like shooting a man in the back. You just can’t do that, blatantly steal rounds from a guy who makes his living doing this. I question his integrity 100 percent. We can accept 95-95, 96-94, but 99-91? He should be expelled.”
Gotzev also was disappointed in Peter.
The manager could be seen on several occasions during the fight jumping up from his seat and imploring Peter to press the action more than he already was, an indication that Peter wasn’t using his size and strength advantages to their fullest.
If Gotzev has his way, the Peter we see in his next fight won’t look like the Peter who fought Friday.
“Samuel does need to make changes,” he said, “clear cut changes. Eddie Chambers did his thing tonight, running around, fighting his fight. I just expected a lot more from Samuel.”
Changes? Gotzev wouldn’t be specific but did say that it was less how hard Peter trained and more what he was being taught. Peter went back to former trainer Andy Anderson after the Klitschko fight.
“The way he works, the way he gets ready for a fight,” said Gotzev, referring to the changes. “He doesn’t fight at his best. As far as I’m concerned, he performs at 60 percent of what he’s capable of. We want him to get up to 90 percent or more, to bring him where he’s supposed to be. ÔÇª
“He’s not a pretty fighter; he needs to do more things, go out there and seize the moment. He needs to change the stuff around him, the people who help him get ready in the gym.”
Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]