Heavyweight Bridge War: Adamek and Chambers Collide
By Gary Purfield
When Main Events Promotions and NBC Sports teamed up for the Fight Night series they set out to produce action packed bouts that were evenly matched. So far they have delivered the goods with three cards that did exactly that. They may have their best match yet when Philadelphia’s Eddie Chambers crosses the Bridge into Jersey to meet Tomasz Adamek, who was born in Poland but now makes his home in Newark, NJ. They meet in a twelve round heavyweight battle on June 16.
While the two perceived undersized heavyweights Chambers and Adamek (undersized for today, in the glory days of Ali and Frazier they would have been normal size big men) were stopped in their bids for the crown to the Klitscko brothers, they are formidable boxers who have plenty to offer. Chambers and Adamek both have speed and boxing skills. They are of relatively the same size so neither will be able to simply bully the other one with height or brute force. What has been produced for June 16 at the Prudential Center is a true heavyweight clash between top talents that is rarely seen in this day and age of boxing’s glory division.
Chambers (36-2, 18 KO) career is highlighted with wins over Calvin Brock, former champ Samuel Peter, and Alexander Dimitrenko. He was stopped in the twelfth round by Wladimir Klistschko and outpointed by Alexander Povetkin in his two losses. Adamek (45-2, 28 KO) has won titles at light heavyweight and was the unified Cruiserweight champ. He has wins over Paul Briggs, Steve Cunningham, Andrew Golota, and Chris Arreola. His two defeats are to Chad Dawson at light heavyweight by decision and he was stopped by Vitali Klitschko.
Eddie Chambers has the nickname “Fast Eddie” for a reason. He is truly quick for a 200lb fighter. Chambers can fire off combinations and then move out of harm’s way with the speed of a light heavyweight. Against Adamek he will be tested by someone of the same size who may be just as quick. While the rough and tough Polish native does not give off the appearance of someone who has speed, he surprises his opponents with how quickly he fires his punches and the quickness of his footwork. Who can beat who to the punch may be the deciding factor in the outcome of the fight.
Both boxers bring talent and skill to the fight that has been developed over years of training and experience. Chambers, who is originally from Pittsburgh, but has spent his boxing career in Philadelphia has learned all the subtle skills that make for a true Philly fighter. He has the slick ability to stand in front of someone landing punches while slipping his opponents shots. Chambers is also one of the most intelligent ring technicians of the day capable of mentally taking his opponent’s desire to fight by dictating the pace and direction of the fight.
Adamek is a little more brute in his attack, but his boxing skills have been highly underrated. He has always been given credit for being strong and having a rock solid chin. What observers often fail to realize is the improvement he has made over the years in his technique. Under the tutelage of trainer Roger Bloodworth Adamek has learned to use the jab to set up his attack. He employs a smart pressure style of fighting that breaks his opponents physically and mentally over the course of a fight.
Both fighters are not shy about mixing it up the ring. Chambers is more likely to do so by landing shots while making his opponent miss. Adamek has improved his defense, but when push comes to shove he will always be a warrior perfectly willing to eat a few punches to land his own.
The willingness to fight should be to the delight of the packed and partisan crowd that will fill the Prudential Center in North Jersey next Saturday. The Fight Night series showed in their last outing from Bethlehem the importance of a lively crowd. When Puerto Rican Bethlehem native Ronald Cruz entered the arena and won a unanimous decision last Friday night the hometown crowd erupted making for a wild environment live and on TV. The crowd continued their rabid support in the main event when Philadelphia Puerto Rican Gabe Rosado stopped Sechew Powell in round nine.
The event showed the difference between a fight with interested followers in the arena who have a rooting interest and what that does for night’s action. The energy in the building was electric and carried over into the ring. While the sellout crowd of nearly two thousand in the Sands was dramatic, the far larger crowd that will show for this fight will bring things to another level.
Chambers will have plenty of the Philly faithful. The city has a long and proud history of great boxing that will certainly make the two hour trek to Newark to support Chambers. On the other side will be Adamek’s Polish faithful that have packed the Prudential numerous times waving flags, sporting scarves, and making noise like a European soccer game. The electricity should certainly carry into the ring for an exciting battle.
Evenly matched heavyweights, speed, skill, and a raucous crowd should all be present for the fourth edition of Fight Night. While nothing in boxing is guaranteed, on paper this looks to be a good one.
Adding to the card will be rising Philadelphia heavyweight Bryant Jennings (13-0, 6 KO) taking another risk against Steve Collins (25-1-1, 18 KO) in the televised co-feature. Jennings has been on two previous Fight Night cards defeating fellow prospect Maurice Byarm and stopping former champion Sergei Liakhovich.
FIGHT INFO: The June 16th NBC Sports Network Fight Night card at Newark’s Prudential Center features Tomasz Adamek vs. Eddie Chambers. Co-featured on the card will be Bryant Jennings vs. Steve Collins, Garrett, Indiana, 25-1,18 KO’s. The NBCSN broadcast will begin at 9PM ET. The card is presented by Main Events in association with Peltz Boxing, Ziggy Promotions and Goossen Tutor Promotions.
Tickets priced at $254 ringside, $104, $79, and $54 available through Ticketmaster: online at www.ticketmaster.com; Charge-by-phone: 1-800-745-3000; Ticketmaster Express 866-448-7849; and Ticketmaster ticket centers. Tickets are also available at Prudential Center’s Box Office and www.prucenter.com.