Bout time for Eddie Chambers

Eddie Chambers will fight Tony 'The Tiger' Thompson on Oct. 28 in Atlantic City.
Eddie Chambers will fight Tony 'The Tiger' Thompson on Oct. 28 in Atlantic City. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Posted: October 04, 2011

A FEW YEARS ago, heavyweight Eddie Chambers made the difficult decision to cut ties with his father-trainer, Eddie Chambers Sr., because he believed it would benefit his boxing career.

Now, after a 19-month period in which he has fought just once, Chambers, still only 29 and ranked No. 1 by the IBF (he is not rated by the WBC, WBA and WBO), gets back to work on Oct. 28 when he takes on veteran Tony "The Tiger" Thompson (36-2, 24 KOs) in an IBF elimination bout at Bally's Atlantic City.

This time, Chambers' corner team will not include Rob Murray Sr., who became almost a surrogate father to the Pittsburgh native upon relocating him to Philadelphia in 2002. Chambers has been training locally at the James Shuler Gym in West Philly with Bashir Ali, an associate of Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward.

"I didn't want to be a stick in the spokes of progress," explained Murray, who now serves as an adviser and consultant to Chambers. "I just want Eddie to win. If it was Martha Stewart instead of Emanuel Steward, and I thought she could help Eddie become heavyweight champion of the world, I'd bring her in.

"I think maybe my relationship with Eddie had gotten a little like what's happening with [coach] Andy Reid and the Eagles. Some of what Reid's been saying probably is falling on deaf ears because he's been there so long. Sometimes you need a fresh voice with a fresh plan."

Steward has long held Chambers in high regard, even though the lead thoroughbred in Manny's spacious stable, IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, knocked out the much-smaller Chambers with 5 seconds remaining in the 12th and final round of their March 20, 2010, title bout in Dusseldorf, Germany. Klitschko would have won handily had the outcome gone to the scorecards.

"Eddie Chambers has lots of talent," Steward said from his home base of Detroit. "I had more concerns getting Wladimir to fight him than for any fight since Wladimir and I have been together.

"Eddie is small, but his speed and balance are unbelievable. The one time I had Evander Holyfield for his three fights with Riddick Bowe, he won by getting in and getting out, instead of trying to take Bowe head-on. I see a lot of those qualities in Eddie."

Even if Chambers does become Wlad's IBF mandatory, a rematch of the towering Ukrainian and the shorter, lighter American might not occur regardless of what happens on Oct. 28. Wlad has already knocked out Chambers and Thompson, so he might not find a rematch with either particularly intriguing.

"Wladimir might voluntarily relinquish one of his titles, or it might be stripped from him," Steward said of Klitschko's options other than to dip into the recycle bin. "What does it matter? He's the best heavyweight in the world regardless. But Eddie is good enough to be in the discussion when you're talking about the top heavyweights around today."

Murray said Chambers - who became a fixture at the now-shuttered Blue Horizon with 17 appearances there from 2002 to 2008 - is willing to take another crack at Klitschko, or whomever the IBF might pick as his opponent for a vacant title, should Wlad decline a mandatory defense that might prove a hard sell for German television.

"He got a chance to fight for the heavyweight championship against a guy who possibly will go down as one of the greatest of all time," Murray said. "He was outgunned, but he hung in there to the very end. I was proud of him for that.

"Eddie would like to fight Klitschko again. I think all real fighters want a chance to redeem themselves against someone who beat them. But if he winds up fighting someone else for a vacant title, that would all right, too."

Hart knocking on door

Philadelphian Jesse Hart won his third-round electronically scored middleweight bout with Tajikistan's Sobirjon Nazarov, 13-8, yesterday at the AIBA World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. Next up today is Kazakhstan's Danabek Suzhanov


Should Hart, the son of former middleweight contender Eugene "Cyclone" Hart get past Suzhanov, he will have nailed down a berth with U.S. qualifiers for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Jones' Garden party

Mike Jones (25-0, 18 KOs), the world-rated welterweight from North Philadelphia, will make his Madison Square Garden debut on Dec. 3 against Argentina's Sebastian Lujan (38-5-2, 24 KOs) in a 12-round IBF elimination bout on the undercard of an HBO pay-per-view card headlined by the Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito rematch.

This week long ago * 

On Oct. 4, 1940, maybe the greatest boxer of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson, made his pro debut with a second-round knockout of Joe Echevarria.

* On Oct. 5, 1952, Kid Gavilan retained his world welterweight championship on a 15-round decision over Billy Graham in Havana, Cuba, the first boxing match to be televised in the United States from outside the U.S.

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