Peter-Chambers Fight Preview

March 27, 2009

Two of the heavyweight division’s leading contenders will clash tonight at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, as American “Fast” Eddie Chambers will take on the “Nigerian Nightmare,” Samuel Peter. Both fighters carry the hope that a victory tonight would put them in line for an eventual title shot with the Klitschko brothers. However, in order to get such a victory, both men must rebound from recent ugly losses suffered across the pond.

Not too long ago, Samuel Peter was one of the intriguing young prospects in boxing. Blessed with great one-punch knockout power, Peter was viewed as a potentially captivating fighter in an otherwise dull division. In the minds of many, Peter’s stardom was a near certainty, provided that he refined his raw abilities, and gained some experience.

However, each time Peter has stepped up to face the division’s true elite – the Klitschko brothers – he has failed to attain that anticipated stardom.

When he fought younger brother Wladimir, Peter scored 3 knockdowns, but eventually lost to the bigger, more technically superior fighter. His later October 2008 fight to older brother Vitali was even more one-sided, as Peter was unable to overcome his opponent’s height and reach advantage, and quit on his stool after eating a steady diet of jabs, left hooks, and right hands.

Still, Peter is only 28 and far from finished. With the exception of the Klitschko brothers, Peter (30-2, 23 KO’s) has defeated every other opponent he has faced, including such names as Jameel McCline and the legendary James Toney. A victory tonight would put him back in the title hunt.

Meanwhile, Eddie Chambers’ career (30-1, 18 KO’s) appeared on the rise after promising victories over Calvin Brock and Dominick Guinn. Even more impressive than those conquests was the fresh style that Chambers brought to the heavyweight division, as his so-so punching power was more than made up for by his effective counterpunching and solid defense.

Similar to Peter, Chambers’ title path was derailed when he stepped to a bigger stage, as he lost by decision to Alexander Povetkin in a contender eliminator.

Both Peter and Chambers should feel some sense of urgency, as a loss would curtail either fighter’s chances of earning a Klitschko fight.

Of course, there is the other school of thought which believes that win or lose, both men will get another chance rather quickly. The rationale behind this thinking is that today’s heavyweight division is so weak that a 40-something Evander Holyfield can get a title shot, and thus, Peter or Chambers will get their chances as well. Quite frankly, that line of thinking may be correct given the absence of any new heavyweight prospects other than David Haye or Chris Arreola.

Even if such reasoning is true, a loss tonight would at least delay a title opportunity for the loser. And that is reason enough to expect a competitive and intense battle between these two contenders. Here is our fight breakdown and crystal ball prediction:

Eddie Chambers’ Keys to Victory

Although not as crafty as James Toney, nor as fast-handed as Chris Byrd, Eddie Chambers nevertheless is among the sport’s slickest heavyweights. He will need to utilize all of those boxing skills to minimize Peter’s power. Defensively, Chambers must continue to move to his right so that he can stay away from Peter’s powerful right hand. He should also use an effective clinch after throwing his shots, ala Bernard Hopkins, so that Peter cannot unleash his power inside.

Offensively, Chambers must beat Peter to the punch with both his jab and his left hook. A quick left hook would be particularly important in discouraging Peter from throwing any right hand leads. Timing will be vital for Chambers, since he must pot-shot his opponent with clean counterpunching as Peter comes forward. The longer the fight goes, the more Chambers could benefit, as Peter weighed-in at a Ruthian 265 pounds.

Samuel Peter’s Keys to Victory

Fortunately for Peter, in this fight he will be facing an opponent with a similar height. As a result, he should have an easier time getting into striking distance for his trademark power shots. Although he is the stronger man, Peter cannot try to simply load up for one big shot. Otherwise, he will be far too predictable for the crafty Chambers, and might fall behind on points.

Instead, Peter must exhibit patience in order to set up those power shots. In other words, he must establish his jab first, so that he can bring some combination-punching behind it. He must also utilize proper footwork, and effectively cut off the ring in order to get in range to deliver his power punches.

And the Winner Will Be . . .

Peter. Peter’s concussive power will be felt early, as he scores a flash knockdown in the early rounds. Chambers recovers from that onslaught and stages a rally, piling up points in the middle rounds with his crafty defense and counter-punching. In the latter rounds of a shorter 10 round fight, Peter compensates for his poor conditioning by landing some bombs, as he does just enough down the stretch to earn a split decision victory.

By Mike Elliott
Staff Editor for

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