Wladimir Klitschko Stops Eddie Chambers with seconds remaining
By Gabriel Montoya, MaxBoxing (March 21, 2010) Special to Doghouse Boxing  
Before a giant crowd at the ESPRIT arena in Dusseldorf, Germany heavyweight titleholder Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko, 53-3 (48), used all but the last five seconds of his fight with “Fast” Eddie Chambers, 35-2 (18), to set up a win and score a TKO in the final moments.

The action was not exciting, but technically sound as Klitschko controlled the action with his jab at long range advantage (an 81” reach for Wlad to Eddie’s 75”), excellent footwork that allowed him to stay at long range and best utilize his height advantage (6’6½” to Eddie’s 6’1”) and set up right hand bombs and ultimately the final punch of the fight, which was a brutal left hook thrown on a quick burst forward that landed and knocked Chambers cold in one fell swoop.

From round one, Chambers seemed confident in his defensive abilities. He stayed at long range, blocking incoming behind a shell defense and hoping to get his jab going which he did in spurts. Klitschko jabbed and probed, looking for a place his right hand could call its own.

The biggest event of the first round was from Chambers. On a clinch from Klitschko, Chambers picked him up and kind of squatted him.

In the second, Chambers did it again but, this time, he body slammed Wladimir, was warned, and the fight proceeded. The moves were, in my opinion, an attempt to discourage Klitschko from tying up on the inside and fighting less of what some call like Wladimir “Clinchko.”

The second looked a lot like the first, in every other regard. Wlad stalking behind a one-two and Eddie blocking and moving with an occasional punch, here or there. Klitschko found it late and wobbled Chambers, but the American Chambers stood his ground, got behind his shield and weathered the brief storm.

As the fight progressed, there was a growing feeling among viewers and Eddie’s corner that he would never get untracked. After last week’s opportunity that Joshua Clottey missed against Manny Pacquiao, there was a very real fear that what we were seeing here was yet another “silent agreement”, where one fighter realizes he can’t win and “fights” accordingly. But Chambers showed his will to win in spots, jabbing and trying to land his right hand, but missing or grazing the target.

By the middle of the fight, the pattern was set. Klitschko was looking for a knockout, but was very patient with his jab and right hand. Chambers was looking for a way to get going but having no luck. Time and again, his corner implored him to let his hands go; urging him to not waste this shot at the title. But it was a no-go and much easier said than done, considering who was in front of Chambers.

“Don’t get over-crazy,” Wlad’s trainer Manny Steward told him as he explained he now had to be patient and the outcome would appear.

By the eighth, however, Steward would urge Klitschko to get his offense going a little more.

“More left hooks,” instructed Steward. “Just move him with lefts. They’re realizing you’re not the big dummy they thought you were. [Chambers’] corner is over there going crazy. He’s lost his confidence now.”

Steward was right in his observation, as Chambers corner kept asking what was wrong. Why wasn’t he throwing punches?

The problem was Klitschko and his underrated style. With experience and time, he has learned how to control foes through minimal, but steady offense and solid foot work. Sometimes, the Sweet Science is as simple as 1+2= I win.

The tenth was delayed by a glove change of the right hand for Eddie Chambers. It was unclear what the problem was, though I highly doubt it was from overuse.

However, coming into the championship rounds, Steward had seen enough of 1+2 and wanted to add Klitschko’s vaunted 3 into the mix; a punch he had asked for three rounds before, and wasn’t getting near enough of from Wlad.

“It’s another [Sultan] Ibragimov,” Steward said referencing one of Wlad’s most boring efforts. “You’re letting him get away, because you aren’t throwing punches.

Klitschko stayed his patient course, though; knowing full well all it takes is one from this physically gifted and technically sound giant.

In the twelfth, he was proven right.

As Chambers backed to the ropes behind his shield with just a few seconds left in the bout, Klitschko pushed off the back foot and landed a left hook right between Chambers’ shell defense, immediately knocking him back into the turnbuckle, from where Chambers fell face first to the canvas, in a kind of kneeling position near the ropes. He would remain there for some time as Klitschko celebrated at center ring.

It was a steady performance from Klitschko. Not exciting, but that’s not his job. His job is to win and, if he can, knock the other guy out. Saturday night in Germany, he did both with ease.

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