By Jake Donovan
Once upon a time, networks would be fighting over rights to air a matchup between two Top 10 heavyweights. Times have drastically changed, however, as promoters are forced to scope out new outlets in hopes of restoring old glory.
Promoter Kathy Duva and Main Events have done just that, convincing NBC Sports Network that there are still plenty of good fights to be made north of 200 lb. With that comes Saturday’s clash between Tomasz Adamek and Eddie Chambers, which airs live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey (Saturday, NBC Sports 9PM ET).
Both fighters are in must-win mode, yet title implications are unofficially at stake in the 12-round bout. Adamek (45-2, 28KO) flopped miserably in last year’s title challenge against Vitali Klitschko, barely winning a minute of any given round in front of a massive crowd in Wroclaw, Poland.
The former light heavyweight and cruiserweight king rebounded earlier this year with a tune-up win over Nagy Aguilera, which also aired on NBC Sports.
Chambers (36-2-1, 18KO) has fought just once since his own Klitschko debacle, which came in March ’10. The heavyweight title challenge against Wladimir Klitschko came nine months after going on the road to dominate Alex Dimitrenko in Germany.
A return trip overseas proved disastrous as Chambers was knocked out in the closing seconds of a fight in which he provided minimal effort for much of the evening. His one fight since then was a points win in rematch with Derrick Rossy last February.
The 16-month inactive period was due to two separate injuries, resulting in canceled fights with Tony Thompson and Siarhai Liakhovich. The latter was to serve as the main event for the inaugural episode of NBC Sports Fight Night and in Chambers hometown of Philly. Instead, he’s now forced to earn his keep the hard way, fighting in Adamek’s home away from home at ‘The Rock.’
The odds have Adamek as the favorite in this fight, but Friday’s weigh-in and general public perception tell somewhat of a different tale.
Read on to see which train of thought is in line with how the Boxingscene staff believes the action will go down.
“I love this fight between Adamek and Chambers: two guys who have heart and can fight. But I think Chambers' skills are superior, so I'll go with the Philly fighter by UD.”
- Mitch Abramson, Staff Contributor/NY Daily News Sports Writer
“I think Chambers will outbox Tomas Adamek to the tune of 117-111. Adamek shows signs of slowing down and even though Chambers has been inactive I expect him to be too slick for the Pole.”
– Ryan Burton, Staff Contributor/ Co-Host of Boxingscene’s “The Boxing Lab” Internet radio show.
“The long layoff certainly can’t help Eddie Chambers much. Still, I like the best available version of Chambers to upset Adamek, who quite frankly has been given too much credit at heavyweight solely based on one close win (Arreola). Chambers by MD in an upset.”
– Jake Donovan, Managing Editor
“If Manny Pacquiao isn’t safe from the judges, nobody is – not even Adamek at home. It doesn’t matter; Chambers is pumped, in shape and ready to pull off the upset. Chambers by decision.”
- Nina Mariah Donovan, staff photographer
“A battle for the top of the 2nd tier in the division, down a notch from the Klitschkos. Adamek isn't a huge puncher at heavyweight, but is strong enough and determined enough to keep grinding away at Chambers, who'll need to land with authority to blunt the charge or display the sorts of skills he showed while outclassing bully Sam Peter. The problem here is that Adamek's better than Peter and probably does enough to win the majority of the rounds. Adamek UD12, say 116-112 or 115-113.”
– Lyle Fitzsimmons, Feature Writer
“Chambers by decision. He has a point to prove that he could be the best American heavyweight so he puts on a performance on Adamek.”
– Ernest Gabion, Videographer/Co-Host of Boxingscene’s “The Boxing Lab” Internet radio show.
“Chambers MD Adamek: Adamek is tough, and fun, but he can be outboxed. Chambers over 210 and we could get the sluggish version who gasses as the fight wears on. Chambers showed up at 202 and Adamek came in at a career high 225. That's too bulky and he's not a super puncher at heavyweight. I expect the scores to be close, but Chambers should be able to scoop enough rounds even in New Jersey to earn the verdict.”
– Cliff “Flip-Flop” Rold, Managing Editor
“I think Chambers has the ability to outbox Adamek but given his long layoff and injuries, I'm not sure if Chambers will be at his best. Adamek had trouble with Nagy Aguilera in his last fight and Chambers will be more difficult to figure out. In the end I think Adamek pulls out a decision in a fight that won't produce much action. Adamek UD.”
– Luis Sandoval, Staff Contributor/ Co-Host of Boxingscene’s “The Boxing Lab” Internet radio show.
“It depends on a number of factors but at the end of the day, ‘Goral’ Adamek will be remembered as a better fighter he has been found in the Klitschko try. With his activity, tactics and fans behind him he will overcome inactive Chambers in a close but convincing manner.”
– Alexey Sukachev, Boxingscene Eastern European Editor
Total: Tomasz Adamek 3, Eddie Chambers 6
The 12-round heavyweight fight between Adamek and Chambers airs live from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on NBC Sports Network (Saturday, 9PM ET).
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]