"Fast" Eddie Chambers is coming off a dominant performance against then undefeated heavyweight Alexander Dimitrenko. The fight was a WBO heavyweight title eliminator, which means that Chambers is now the mandatory challenger for recognized world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. I spoke with Eddie about the fight and his future plans in the heavyweight division including his potential fight with Wlad Klitschko.
Congrats on the big win. Most people in the states didn't get a chance to see the fight, so why don't you tell us how it went?
EC: Pretty good, I was supposed to stop him several times in the fight. I knocked him down I think it was twice. Once on a body shot, but he tried to complain of a low blow… it was legal shot but he complained. Then I put him down in the 10 th and subsequently went on to a unanimous decision win. Well it should've been a unanimous but it ended up being a majority because one of the judges gave a draw which was pretty terrible. (Note: despite dominating the fight and receiving 117-109 and 116-111 from two judges, one judge inexplicably had the fight scored a 113-113 draw).
That must have freaked you out there for a second…
EC: Oh yea! I was definitely freaked out, hearing about all of those bad decisions going on in Germany and I was thinking here comes another.
Absolutely…You weighed 208 pounds for the fight, which is essentially the lightest weight of your career and is quite a bit lower than the 220 pound range you've been fighting at more recently. What was the motivation for that and how much credit to your performance do you give to your weight?
EC: The reason for it was obviously to improve on my performance…my foot speed and my overall fighting ability. That had a lot do obviously with the victory but more importantly the focus and determination to drop that weight carried over into the fight. It kept me focused and we had a successful game plan and took care of business.
Is that the weight you plan on coming in at from now on or what's your target weight for the future?
EC: From now on it's going to be that weight or lower, I don't think I want to go too much heavier than that. And I don't even know if I want to go too much lower either…
Too much lower and you're down to cruiserweight!
EC: Right, exactly. And I don't want to be fighting down there. I'd like to mention as well you don't want to fight a championship fight for $25,000. That's a slap in the face to the fighters who are putting their lives on the line. There aren't enough people watching the cruiserweight division and that's why it's going through such a tough time. But I just want to make sure that I'm in shape whatever that weight may be so I can be successful and I'll be strong and tough in there.
It must have been nice to be over there in Germany on July 4 th and getting a win for yourself and the states…
EC: Definitely, it made us feel a little bit better in terms of us going over there to Germany. And in terms of myself being a smaller guy and being able to beat him and take control of the fight and my future in the division I feel really good about that.
You fought Alexander Dimitrenko and he isn't stylistically similar but he is very similar physically (both are in the 6'7" and 250 lb range) to Wladimir Klitschko. How important then was this fight for you to show yourself but also to show the world how you would fare against that class of "super" heavyweight?
EC: It was very important. The guy that controls the division is very similar to the guy I just fought. In his boxing ability, I think Dimitrenko may even be a little more sound than Klitschko, but Klitschko has more strength, more experience and more focus at this point in time which is predicated on victories. It's going to take a lot, honestly a lot of focus and determination and serious, hard work in the gym to really come out with the win over someone who is so used to winning and winning on such an impressive fashion.
The fight was your second fight in Germany, a place where many American fighters hesitate on visiting- for reasons like the scorecard that came up as a draw. But with that experience now would you be willing to face Wladimir there or how do you feel that?
EC: Well he's the world champion and he commands all of the focus and attention. So I'm going to basically have to do almost exactly what they say. Then when I have the control we're gonna do it all in the states. Right now I would love for an opportunity to take on Klitschko in the states, I would love for that opportunity. But I don't think right now that that's where the money and all of the attention is. So they would probably just broadcast it and do it over in Germany.
But the two fights you've had there must give you some added confidence if you have to go back there once again.
EC: Well, hey, I got the confidence now because I know I could win a decision there. And I have the ability to beat anybody, so there you go.
What did you think of Klitschko's outing against Ruslan Chagaev?
EC: I guess it wasn't as fan friendly of a fight as it could have been. But he was dominating, he didn't let the guy inside to touch him at all. And there you go, stopped him again.
Everyone always says the same thing on fighting Klitschko and doing different things, getting in there and working and so on, but they all end up the same way. But now from your perspective what makes you a different fighter and what would you do differently in the ring against Klitschko that would translate into success?
EC: First of all I have a lot more speed than most guys he faced. Better head movement, better overall talent I would think in certain areas that he wouldn't be really, really ready to go up against. I have more talent, I'm faster, I have a lot more power than he would think. So I will surprise him a lot in different areas. And also the strength level, he's not going to be able to stay on the outside with his jab as he has against past opponents.
With all of that said you're not the only guy on Klitschko's radar screen. The guy who handed you your only career loss, Alexander Povetkin, is in line for the IBF mandatory shot. Then there's David Haye who had his fight with Klitschko cancelled due to injury. Considering all of that what are the chances you get to step in there with Wlad some time before the year is out or sometime soon?
EC: It may be a long shot to get him in there before the year is out. But I'm just going to be looking to stay ready and be ready for the long haul and do the waiting game and it will come eventually.
Obviously you just gained mandatory status a few days ago but have your people begun any preliminary talks with Klitschko or anything like that?
EC: Nothing really, there's nothing going on as far as talks. He's obligated to go to Povetkin first and he has those other things going on prior to his last fight with Chagaev. So I'm just happy to be in the position I'm in and I'll just wait in line until it's my turn and take advantage of it.
For the rest of the year then are you just going to stay in the gym or would you consider taking a tune up or stay busy fight in the meantime if Wlad isn't getting in there anytime soon?
EC: Definitely getting in the gym, well I'm already there... but staying in the gym, keep my weight in the right place and try to get a fight going as soon as possible.
You're the top dog in the American heavyweight scene right now. What do you have to say to your fans and what do you think about your status right now as the mandatory for the heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko?
EC: I just want my fans to continue to stay tuned and watch as I make my run for the title. And definitely stay tuned because it was very unlikely for a guy like myself to be in this position. But I've worked very hard and with hard work and focus you can do anything.
Thanks again for the time and congrats on the victory once again.