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Weekend Review: Chambers’ big night

29
Mar

Eddie Chambers looks proud of himself after outpointing Samuel Peter on Friday night in Los Angeles. Photo / Jan Sanders-Goossen Tutor

BIGGEST WINNER

Eddie Chambers: The pudgy, but athletic heavyweight might not have made many fans but he was in firm control of his fight against once-feared former titleholder Samuel Peter on Friday night in Los Angeles. More important, with the victory, he is in the mix for a shot at a major belt and the large payday that goes with it. He is now 4-0 since losing a decision to Alexander Povetkin in a title eliminator early last year. Dan Goossen, Chambers’ promoter, hopes to get the well-spoken Philadelphian a title fight by the end of the year.

BIGGEST LOSER

Samuel Peter What now? Peter, a major titleholder only a year ago, has plummeted down the list of title contenders after losing two consecutive fights. On Friday, the Nigerian carried his weight well and boxed fairly efficiently but looked like an ordinary heavyweight at best against a much smaller, relatively light-punching opponent. He showed little of the fire that once made him an exciting warrior. Peter and his handlers should – and will, according to manager Ivaylo Gotzev – reassess the manner in which he prepares for his fights, which could mean that trainer Andy Anderson is out.

MOST-QUESTIONABLE SCORING

Chambers vs. Peter: The fight was somewhat difficult to score. If you like aggressiveness, you gave Peter credit. If you like ring generalship, you leaned toward Chambers. However, this fight was not as close as the 96-94 and 95-95 scores of two judges. Chambers controlled the fight with his ring generalship, which is a key factor in scoring. He jabbed and counterpunched beautifully while generally staying out of harm’s way with his quick feet or ability to block punches. Ray Corona’s score of 99-91 might’ve been a tad too one-sided – but not by much.

QUICKEST WORK

Shawn Estrada: Goossen’s three good prospects – middleweight Estrada, welterweight Javier Molina and lightweight John Molina Jr. – were fed sacrificial lambs on the Chambers-Peter undercard. Estrada, a 2008 U.S. Olympian, got the job done the quickest. He stopped Ray Craig at 1:41 of the first round. Javier Molina, of the same Olympic team, stopped Jaime Cabrera at 1:50 of the first round in his pro debut. And John Molina Jr. put Carlos Vinan away at 2:40 of the second round. All three prospects have bright futures but the hunch here is that the quick, slick Javier Molina is the best of the trio.

MOST PREDICTABLE

Margarito’s wraps loaded: A California Department of Justice lab determined that the hand wraps worn by Antonio Margarito before his fight against Shane Mosley contained ingredients to make plaster of Paris. Anyone who saw the wraps or a blown-up photo of them knew they contained a foreign substance. Margarito and trainer Javier Capetillo lost their licenses in California (and, in effect, the U.S.) for a year, after which they could apply for reinstatement. Should the lab’s findings have a bearing on reinstatement? Please use the email address at the bottom to tell us what you think.

BEST NEWS

Klitschko vs. Haye: Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye are about to finalize a fight for June 20 in Germany. This might turn out to be a blowout; Klitschko might be too big and too strong for the former cruiserweight champion. Still, this is the only heavyweight matchup that could stir universal interest in a lifeless division. Klitschko has won 10 consecutive fights and gains more respect with each outing. Haye has the charisma to drive any promotion and a great deal of power, at least he did at the cruiserweight level. This is one matchup boxing fans won’t want to miss, which is unheard of among heavyweights.

MOST-APPROPRIATE PROTEST

Don King’s: The promoter claims the Marco Antonio Barrera-Amir Khan fight should’ve been stopped immediately after Barrera was cut at the hairline in the first round, which would’ve resulted in a no-contest, and demands a rematch. British officials allowed the fight to go five bloody rounds, one round longer than required to give the Briton a victory. One look at that horrible gash – which required 30 stitches — should’ve been enough to end the fight. Am I saying the Brits conspired to give their fighter a victory? No, that would be speculative. Am I saying they were irresponsible? Yes, at the very least.

MOST-SUCCESSFUL SON

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.: This one was easy. Chavez hardly looked like a world beater in outpointing Luciano Cuello on Saturday in Tijuana, Mexico, but he demonstrated courage and won the fight in front of his countrymen. He remains on an upward arc. Ronald Hearns, the previously unbeaten son of Hall of Famer Thomas Hearns, was put down three times and ultimately knocked out by Harry Joe Yorgey in the ninth round in Miami, Okla. His father bounced back from some setbacks and found more success but Ronald Hearns isn’t Thomas Hearns.

WORST POLICY

Announcing scoring during fight: One of the most-dramatic and cherished aspects of boxing is the announcement of the decision. The WBC, in its infinite wisdom, decided a few years ago to announce scores every four rounds outside the U.S. Not only does it spoil the drama it also can spoil the fight. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.’s corner learned after eight rounds that he could lose only by knockout or multiple knockdowns. Thus, he would’ve been smart to run around the final two rounds and not a throw a single punch. And that’s only one ridiculous scenario this misguided policy can produce. Argh!

WORST IDEA

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao: Promoter Bob Arum said after Chavez outpointed Luciano Cuello that he likes the idea of matching Chavez with Pacquiao if the latter beats Ricky Hatton on May 2. The problem? That wouldn't be a fight; it'd be a slaughter. Chavez is a competent, but very limited fighter. He could outweigh a fighter of Pacquiao's class — and speed — by 20 pounds and still have absolutely no chance of even competing on the same level. A possible matchup with De La Hoya makes some sense because De La Hoya seems to have declined. Pacquiao is at the top of his game.

BEST QUOTE

Ivaylo Gotzev: “That’s like shooting a guy in the back,” said Samuel Peter’s manager, referring to judge Ray Corona’s core of 99-91 in favor of Eddie Chambers.

Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]

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