By Keith Idec
NEWARK — Eddie Chambers made it to the ring late Saturday night, but the injury-prone heavyweight contender didn’t waste much time getting hurt again.
Chambers said he suffered a torn biceps muscle in his left arm during the first round of his 12-round heavyweight fight against Tomasz Adamek, which limited a game Chambers throughout the bout. The right-handed fighter from Philadelphia fought from a southpaw stance at times, landed some hard right hands and used his tremendous defensive skills to admirably make the fight about as competitive and interesting as he could.
But a handicapped Chambers (36-3, 12 KOs), who at times resembled elusive former heavyweight champion Chris Byrd, couldn’t throw a single left hand with any authority after the first round. Ultimately, working with one arm simply was too much to overcome in what was supposed to be a very competitive fight.
Adamek (46-2, 28 KOs), a Kearny resident from Gilowice, Poland, won a unanimous decision in the main event of a seven-fight card that drew a crowd of just under 5,000 to Prudential Center.
“I don’t like to sound brash or anything like that,” Chambers said, “but I’m sure I would’ve won the fight [with two arms]. It would’ve been extraordinarily one-sided for a guy who was an underdog going in.”
Adamek didn’t control Chambers, 30, the way one might expect against a one-armed opponent. He did do enough, however, for each judge — Joe Pasquale (116-112), Alan Rubinstein (119-109) and River Vale’s Steve Weisfeld (116-112) — to score him the winner of a fight that was broadcast by NBC Sports Network.
“Eddie was fast,” Adamek said, alluding to Chambers’ nickname. “It’s true. He was tough to fight. It was hard to predict what he was going to do next.”
One thing Chambers knew he wouldn’t do during their fight was quit.
“I wouldn’t have it, no matter what. I’m a fighter, he’s a fighter. No matter what happens during the fight, you’ve got to roll with it. If my arm would’ve fell off, I would’ve tried to keep going. That’s just the way it is.”
Adamek noticed early in the fight that Chambers couldn’t throw his left hand, but Adamek didn’t think the injury was as much of a factor as it appeared to be.
“Yes, I did see it,” Adamek said. “But it didn’t make any difference, because his jab is more for show than anything.”
Adamek was disappointed, however, in his performance.
“I expect more from myself as a fighter,” Adamek said. “Hopefully I will be able to deliver in my next fight.”
Adamek said he expects to return to the ring in September. His co-promoter, Totowa-based Main Events, has its next NBC Sports Network date set for Sept. 21, though the fights and the site haven’t been announced.
Before Saturday night, Chambers hadn’t boxed since out-pointing Derric Rossy (26-5, 14 KOs) in their 12-round rematch in February 2011 in Atlantic City. He withdrew from his two previously scheduled fights due to injuries.
Chambers was supposed to fight Tony Thompson (36-2, 24 KOs) in an IBF elimination match Oct. 28 in Atlantic City, but pulled out with a back injury. He couldn’t participate in a Jan. 21 fight in Philadelphia against former WBO heavyweight champ Sergei Liakhovich due to a rib injury.
Adamek, 35, fought for the second time since suffering a one-sided, 10th-round technical knockout defeat to WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (44-2, 40 KOs) on Sept. 19 in Wroclaw, Poland.
In his first fight after the Klitschko loss, the former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion comfortably beat Nagy Aguilera (17-7, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision March 24 in Brooklyn. Adamek won that 10-round bout by wide margins on all three scorecards (100-90, 100-90 and 99-91), but wasn’t overly impressive because he hurt both of his hands during the fight.