By Jake Donovan
Negotiations are still ongoing for a proposed cruiserweight showdown between Denis Lebedev and Eddie Chambers, though both fighters seem anxious to forego the paperwork and jump in the ring.
Chambers announced weeks after his disputed points loss to Tomasz Adamek his intention to move down to the cruiserweight division. A smallish heavyweight for the duration of his 12-year career, Chambers (36-3, 18KO) believed shedding the extra poundage would give him a better crack at realizing his goal of winning a world championship.
Both sides have confirmed that negotiations have begun for a potential showdown, with some progress made but not enough to announce the fight as a done deal.
That hasn’t stopped both sides from commenting on the projected fight. Lebedev’s promoter Vlad Hrunov confirmed to Russian website boxko.ru of the current cruiserweight titlist’s interest in welcoming Chambers with open arms to the division.
“Eddie Chambers said that Wladimir Klitschko is the greatest heavyweight in the history of boxing. That’s his opinion and there’s nothing wrong about that,” Hrunov said before segueing to his point. “I can warn him that soon he will face the best cruiserweight fighter – Denis Lebedev, and this fact should be more significant to him right now.
“Regarding the fight, we have been currently negotiation with Chambers’ promoter, Kathy Duva.”
Chambers signed with Main Events shortly after the Adamek fight, ironic considering his discouragement with the outcome of their June showdown. Chambers was inactive for 16 months, nursing multiple injuries that saw two fights fall through, including an eliminator with Tony Thompson that – with a win – would have put him in line for a second crack at a major title.
His lone title challenge ended miserably, losing every round of his March 10 fight with lineal world champion Wladimir Klitschko before suffering a horrific knockout in the closing seconds of the 12th and final round. The fight was the second of four consecutive ring appearances in which the 6’1” Chambers weighed less than 210 lb., giving away anywhere from 23 to 45 lb. in those fights.
The logical next step for the modest hitting Philly resident was to drop down 10 lb., where he believes he will be more competitive. His reaction to a potential Lebedev fight spoke volumes of his confidence.
“I happily accept (the) challenge from WBA Cruiserweight [c]hampion Denis Lebedev,” Chambers declared on his Twitter account Thursday evening in response to the earlier report. “(The) [c]hance to be crowned the WBA Champion of the World in your 1st fight in the Cruiserweight division is something that I just can’t pass up [a]nd I look forward to the challenge.”
Chamber’s loss to Adamek marked his last appearance in the ring and his only fight since Feb. ’11. Lebedev (25-1, 19KO) only had two fights in 2012, but is coming off of a 4th round knockout win over Santander Silgado last month in his native Russia.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox