Hey, someone wake up the Fraziers’ quickly! Clean up the Rocky statue and call Sylvester Stallone to come down and visit. Is Larry Holmes out there somewhere? Philadelphia is actually sending a fighter to a heavyweight title fight, although it is in Germany.
Meet “Fast” Eddie Chambers, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and boxing out of the once legendary boxing city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He will be fighting IBF/WBO Heavyweight Champ, and Russian product Wladimir Klitschko this March in an attempt to bring some glory back to the U.S.A. heavyweight boxing scene. The Klitshckos (brothers Wladimir and Vitali) own 2 of the 3 major boxing committees championships, and have for some years now.
“He is the highest ranked American heavyweight right now, so this fight makes alot of sense,” said Klitschko when asked why he chose Chambers as his next opponent. Chambers currently has a professional record of 35-1 with 18 knockouts and has found himself fighting some of the best competition in the weight class of late. He has managed victories over Sam Peter, Calvin Brock, and Raphael Butler over the least couple of years to earn high ranking in the IBF.
[adinserter block=”1″]The last major name to draw any appeal in the “City of Brotherly Love” was Bernard Hopkins and for years in the boxing scene it, really has been all his. Philly has always been known as a hot bed for up and coming boxing stars, and many believe that if Chambers can find his way to beat Klitschko that the city will start to recognize the sport again. Let’s face it, half the women you meet out can probably name every UFC champion but ask them to name one heavyweight boxing champ and you will be waiting awhile for an answer.
It is understood that boxing has lost some steam and that the crowds would rather see multiple moves and more non-stop action that the MMA and the UFC world has to offer. It is moments like this that the bigger boxing cities need to produce big time talent and personalities. The biggest “bad boy” in the heavyweight boxing world right now is Englands David Haye, who is 24-1 and currently holds the WBA’s version of the title. Once again, a British champ will not help the USA’s chances of saving the sport. Haye is seen as a guy who will taunt and trash talk all over the media to get what he wants, something that has escaped the US fighters over the years.
Fighting promoters have tried to gain appeal with elimination fight style tournaments and strict rankings to get higher ranked guys to fight one another, yet until the scoring system and judging system is fixed boxing will continue to struggle. However the “sweet science” can regain popularity with big time fights. It is unfortunate that big-time US fighters like Floyd Mayweather would rather squawk over dollars then save the beloved sport.
[adinserter block=”2″]Let’s get back to Eddie Chambers. He is not an overly sharp looking athlete, not chizzled by any means, but he does bring quickness and ring savvy with him into this bout with the powerful Klitschko. He weighs in at about 220 pounds, which may seem a bit light by today’s standards and with 18 knockouts in 36 fights, may not be a super power puncher. He does however have confidence and as many will say, he has little to lose here. He does however have lots to gain. Big money pay days, rematch clauses, and dare I say the word “unification”.
Yes it is hard to find a fight fan walking down the street these days. Boxing has almost become more of a cult then a national appeal. I for one still enjoy a nice boxing match over some mixed up, blood bath that lass mere minutes. Hopefully for those of us who grew up loving boxing, a Chambers’ victory can restore some faith from the former fans. Perhaps with a heavyweight champ living here in the US, more fans will come back or come aboard. Sure it’s a lot to ask of one man, but it’s a start. Somewhere in South Philly, while in line waiting for a Geno’s cheese steak, I’m sure you can still hear the echo of “Yo Adrian!”
Much luck to Eddie Chambers, for himself, and this city.
If you’d like to hear anything else from me on topics or ideas I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out the book The Fearless Harry Greb: Biography of a Tragic Hero of Boxing by clicking here.
See the documentary Tyson on DVD by clicking here.
Purchase the boxing video game Fight Night: Round 4 with Eddie Chambers.