By Mike Coppinger
Due to take place in late-August, early-September, top 10 heavyweights Eddie Chambers and Tony Thompson will do battle in an IBF eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger.
Both former Wladimir Klitschko knockout victims –the current IBF and universally recognized heavyweight champion – also boast the same win-loss record at 36-2. The winner would arguably be the No. 1 American heavyweight, a dubious distinction. Unfortunately, there is currently no plan for this pivotal heavyweight matchup to be televised.
“There’s most likely not gonna be any television involved and that’s what bugs me so much about it, that no one’s gonna see it and it’s going to be a really good fight,” Chambers said. “But right now it doesn’t seem like any television is gonna be involved.”
“It’s disappointing to me, the fact that there’s no TV and virtually no interest from the networks to even want to televise it.”
In his last bout, Chambers, 29, defeated Derric Rossy over 12 rounds, his first fight since losing to Klitschko in Germany.
Now, Chambers prepares to fight his friend Thompson, but the Philadelphia-based heavyweight insists it won’t affect his friendship.
“We’ve helped each other out for several different fights and he’s a fun guy to be around for me, a nice guy in a lot of different ways,” said Chambers of the 39-year-old Thompson. “But this is a business situation and we have to knock heads. There’s been many times in the past where friends have fought friends.
“I bring out the best of him and I anticipate this being no different. And I think this fight, if it does happen, will be one of the better fights that has been seen in a little while.”
Chambers doesn’t think his friendship with Thompson will have any bearing on the way they fight each other, knowing it’s a business and that they are two of the best heavyweights in the world.
“We’ve sparred in the past, it’s been competitive, it’s been good work,” Chambers said. “It’s a business, you don’t sign that contract if you’re not willing and able to give your best performance, friends or no friends. When we step inside those ropes, he’s an enemy of mine at that time. But as soon as the fight’s over, we’ll go back to being friends.”
Mike Coppinger is a regular boxing freelancer for USA TODAY and Ring Magazine. He’s a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America, the Ring Ratings Advisory Panel and the Yahoo! Sports Boxing Panel. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger.