By Jake Donovan
At no point in his career did Eddie Chambers ever stop believing that he could one day become heavyweight champion of the world.
That dream is still on the table, but for the moment serving as a backup plan while he gives the cruiserweight division a try. The former heavyweight contender fights below the 200 lb. mark for the first time in his career, when he faces South Africa’s Thabiso Mchunu on August 3 in Uncasville, Conn.
The bout will be his first since suffering a disputed decision against Tomasz Adamek last June. The final decision left a bitter taste in Chambers’ mouth, worse that many believed he thoroughly outfought Adamek while spending most of the night contending with a bicep tear.
Still, not all was lost of the evening. Chambers treated the session as a teachable moment, proof that when healthy he’s as good as anyone in the world. His past experience in the land of big boys has also brought the confidence that he can take the best that any opponent has to offer and still have his say in the end.
“A lot of people talk about my lack of size and how it hurts me against punchers. But I beat most of the big punchers I fought,” Chambers points out. “I easily beat Samuel Peter, as well as Alexander Dimitrenko. Calvin Brock was another one.
“The only guy to really get the best of me was Wladimir Klitschko, who is just on his own level. At 6’6”, it’s difficult for a guy 6’1” to get inside and be effective.”
Chambers went into the March ’10 heavyweight championship with the best of intentions. He was instead quickly overwhelmed before being stopped in the closing seconds of the 12th and final round.
Size certainly won’t be an issue in this particularly cruiserweight matchup. Chambers enjoys a rare height advantage, towering over the diminutive Mchunu (13-1, 10KO). But the advantage doesn’t mean much if he can’t handle the new weight – which he assures is not of concern at all.
"At cruiserweight, I feel as comfortable as I did at heavyweight," Chambers continued. "My last fight with Tomasz Adamek, I was at 202. So the transition should be seamless. It shouldn't be a problem.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox