Klitschko v Chambers - big fight preview
The story is now a familiar one; an American challenger, a Klitschko brother, very short odds for the champion, and a fairly uneventful fight which ends up with a comfortable points win or stoppage victory for the Ukrainian.
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Eddie Chambers. IBF and WBO heavyweight titles.
Saturday March 20, ESPRIT arena, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Eddie Chambers is the latest to step forward and proclaim himself to be the man to break the Klitschko stranglehold, with Wladimir in the opposing corner.
Does he really have a chance, or could you look at the previous cases involving the likes of Kevin Johnson, Tony Thompson and Ray Austin and determine that his task is an impossible one?
The one thing that separates Chambers from the typical giants of the heavyweight scene is his size. At 6 foot 1 and weighing in for his last fight at 208 pounds, Chambers will be one of the smallest men that Wladimir Klitschko has ever faced.
His nickname 'Fast Eddie' suggests a quick moving points scorer as opposed to a knockout artist, and his limited punching power is shown up with a record of 18 stoppages from 35 wins to accompany his solitary loss, a points defeat to Alexander Povetkin in 2008.
Unfortunately for Chambers, the logical answer when it comes to how to beat Wladimir is to stop him, as he's been down numerous times in his career and his three losses have all seen him halted.
The question mark that hangs over Klitschko's chin means that Wladimir is now a typically defensive-minded fighter, using an effective (although hardly exciting) style grounded in the fundamentals laid down by his trainer, Emanuel Steward.
He will be happy to frustrate the smaller man using a left jab that can alternate between a forceful ramrod and a sweeping, pawing block designed solely to prevent his opponent landing.
His right hand is a very powerful weapon, yet there has been a hesitance to use it unless his opponent is wide open; the likes of Ruslan Chagaev and Hasim Rahman could have been stopped a long time before the end finally came.
Yet again this is a Klitschko fight in which picking a winner isn't a challenge. It would be a huge shock if Eddie Chambers was a world champion on Saturday night.
There is a school of thought that suggests opposing Wladimir, often seen as the more vulnerable of the two brothers, is a worthwhile endeavour owing to the fabled 'punchers chance' that his chin provides for his opponents.
The issue with this fight is that not only has Wladimir developed as a fighter who rarely gets hit, but Chambers isn't in the upper echelons of the heavyweight power league; it's conceivable that he could land and not cause Klitschko too much consternation.
Chambers deserves his shot however, and won't turn up just to fold. He was an outsider in his two previous fights against Alexander Dimitrenko and Sam Peter and prevailed against the odds, but Klitschko is proven, vastly experienced, and crucially has been upset himself on previous occasions.
He knows his limitations, and operates using tactics that keep himself very safe. I think Chambers could pick up an early round or two, but doesn't land enough to make the judges think too hard, and Klitschko takes a wide decision in an uneventful contest.
Sadly, the only time we'll be able to make a serious case for a Klitschko opponent is when a certain David Haye is the other man in the ring.
Recommendation: Klitschko to win on points 11/8