Power Shots: News and Views on the Heavyweight Division
By Johnny Walker
This week it was announced that a tasty heavyweight clash between Polish warrior Tomasz Adamek and American “Fast” Eddie Chambers is scheduled for June 16 at Adamek’s home base, the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The fight will also be broadcast nationally as part of the NBC Sports Network’s Fight Night boxing series.
This one is really interesting, because both fighters have not exactly been on hot streaks lately. And both fighters have something in common: they have both been badly beaten by one of the world heavyweight champion Klitschko brothers.
Adamek (45-2, 28 KOs) was humiliated by WBC champion Vitali Klitschko last year, suffering a TKO loss in front of a stadium full of fans in Wroclaw, Poland: after the fight, Klitschko remarked that while former cruiserweight king Adamek is a great fighter, he doesn’t belong in the heavyweight division. Adamek didn’t exactly dispel that notion in his recent “comeback” fight, either, going the distance with the underwhelming Nagy Aguilera.
Chambers (36-2, 18 KOs) has had his own issues as of late. After being knocked out by Wladimir Klitschko in a horrifying fashion in Germany in early 2010, Chambers has fought exactly once, a unanimous decision win over Derric Rossy in early 2011.
Since then, Chambers has been having trouble even getting in the ring: he angered fellow American heavyweight Tony Thompson by pulling out late on their scheduled tilt with an injury, and then enraged Sergei Liakhovich when he did the same thing before their bout. As a result, there are rumors out there that after his scary KO at the hands of Wlad, “Fast Eddie” has become gun-shy. If Chambers somehow doesn’t show up for Adamek, his boxing career will be hanging by a thread.
To call this one a “must-win” for both fighters in thus an understatement.
Enigmatic UK heavyweight contender Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora (15-3, 9 KOs) isn’t letting his recent suspension by the British Boxing Board of Control get him down.
Chisora–who recently angered the Klitschko brothers by slapping Vitali and spitting water in Wlad’s face, all before brawling with fellow UK heavyweight David Haye at a press conference following his loss to the elder Klitschko—showed up in Moscow this week to entertain the fans with some chit-chat and even a spot of dancing before Russian cruiserweight Denis Lebedev’s easy KO win over Shawn Cox.
Chisora expressed surprise and gratitude over the size of his Russian fan base, and promised the crowd “big things at the end of the year” for him in Moscow.
Indeed, Del Boy recently said that, should his appeal with the BBBoC not work out, he may apply for a license to box in Russia. Considering the fact that Haye, who is as of now “retired,” will have his own issues getting a license to fight again following the brawl in Germany, perhaps the best way for the two to get in the ring and settle their differences is to meet on neutral turf in Mother Russia, where the BBBoC’s rulings mean absolutely nothing.
I mean, if the Russians can fly over superstar boxing announcer Michael Buffer for a low-profile Denis Lebedev fight, they can probably come up with enough rubles to make it worthwhile for Haye and Chisora to mix it up in Moscow in a grudge fight for the ages.
The mysterious careers of undefeated Russian heavyweights Denis Boytsov and Alexander Ustinov are set to continue on their often inexplicable paths.
While both Boytsov (30-0, 25 KOs) and Ustinov (26-0, 20 KOs) are often touted as two of the heavyweights out there with a lot of potential, neither man has been getting in the ring with anyone lately who can provide even a modicum of competition. However, both are taking some baby steps forward in their upcoming fights.
Scrappy American heavyweight Jason Gavern (21-9-4, 10 KOs) tells Power Shots that he is going to be doing battle with the 6’7 ½” Russian giant Ustinov, a Klitschko protégé, on April 26 in Ukraine.
Gavern, 34, is the type of game journeyman veteran who can surprise, such as he did when he drew with another ascendent Klitschko associate, American Johnathan Banks, in 2010. In his last fight, taken on two days’ notice, Gavern put up some good resistance against rising Polish heavyweight Mariusz Wach before getting stopped in the sixth round.
Boytsov, meanwhile, gets in with the man with possibly the worst nickname in boxing, Dominick “The Southern Disaster” Guinn (33-8-1, 22 KOs) in Germany on Friday, April 13, in Germany (The Southern Disaster fighting on Friday the Thirteenth?).
Guinn was once seen as a rising heavyweight prospect, but his career has been in the doldrums, and he’s coming into this fight off of UD losses to Bulgarian bad boy Kubrat Pulev and the recently re-incarcerated American Amir Mansour. Nevertheless, Guinn has likely still got enough left to provide the muscular Boytsov with something more than just token resistance.
Fans of the heavyweight division can attend “A Heavyweight Bash” on Friday, June 8th as part of the 23rd Annual Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, June 7-10th in Canastota, NY.
Big names from the heavyweight division’s past will include former heavyweight champions Michael Moorer, Ken Norton, Ray Mercer and Leon Spinks; and former heavyweight contenders George Chuvalo, Chuck Wepner and Gerry Cooney.
The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Rusty Rail Party House in Canastota, NY and consist of fight highlights, speeches, photograph and autograph opportunities and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are priced at $60 each.