Heavyweights Loom on the Horizon

With the recent string of engrossing and entertaining action that has taken place inside the squared circle as of late it is hard to imagine why we collectively keep referring to the heavyweight division as boxing’s “glamour” division.  Still this weekend we are treated to a most interesting heavyweight match-up as Eddie Chambers will travel overseas to take on Alexander Povetkin in Povetkin’s base of operation: Germany. Chambers-Povetkin is intriguing on many different fronts.  We have two undefeated white hot prospects who both happen to be on the cusp of the boxing scene radar following each of their signature wins.  Chambers split decision over Calvin Brock and Povetkin’s 11th round stoppage of former titlist Chris Byrd.  You have two relative neophytes in the heavyweight landscape slugging it out for the right to face IBF title holder and arguably the best big man in the game in Wladimir Klitschko.  Then you have two stylistically different fighters, Chambers with his high guard and straight, albeit light-hitting, punches reminds many of a heavyweight Winky Wright and Povetkin with his fundamentals and relentless pressure, not to mention the extensive amateur credentials highlighted by a 2004 Russian Olympic Gold Medalist.  Despite the immense glare of the spotlight both fighters seem cool and confident. “It will be a tough fight but I am sure I will win.” Povetkin told gathered reporters the other day in Germany. Chambers summed up his assessment of Povetkin in a recent interview with FightHype’s Angel Colon. “Well I’ve seen some stuff via the internet and I saw good things he did.  He’s fairly busy, but he’ll stand there and watch.  He doesn’t move that much so if you give him some angles and not just stand in front of him, it’ll give him some problems.” Odd makers have Povetkin a 7-1 favorite but I am not so sure that this fight is not a toss up.  Chambers has more fights while Povetkin has the more accomplished opponents.  The key for Chambers to win is to keep Povetkin from smothering his bread and butter punches, the good ol’ jab-straight right.  Though the main concern would be that Chambers does not posses the strength to keep a charging Povetkin at bay but it should also be pointed out that Chambers was able to hurt Brock on occasion and if had put his foot to the pedal, may have scored a KO. For Povetkin, he needs to utilze his natural strenght advantage to bully Chambers around and stay inside of his jab.  From there he needs to bang the body given Chambers tendency to expose his ribs with that high guard.  While Povetkin may now hold a TKO victory over Chris Byrd, it should be noted that Byrd is a shadow of his former self and lacked the youth or strenght to keep the Russian off of him for 12 rounds. My pick:  I am going the patriotic route and predict that Chambers will once again win via split decision after all, we are in Povetkin’s promoter’s homeland.  My Confidence:  Not very high, from what little I have seen of Povetkin I like the fact remains I feel he is a bit too green for Chambers at this moment.  Still this being boxing it would not surprise me to see premature stoppage in favor of Povetkin should he manage to crack the guard and hurt Chambers.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.