Even in defeat, “Fast” Eddie Chambers put on such a display in his first fight in nearly sixteen months that this writer believes he should change his nickname to “Slick.”
There's no better way to describe Chambers' body movement during this fight than that. For twelve tough rounds against Tomasz Adamek, Chambers seemed to glide around the ring at times. His head and neck movements in the early rounds were astounding for a guy not that known for his agility. But as the fight wore on, Chambers showed off some impressive body movement all around the ring, being able to get his way out of trouble whenever it popped up.
Chambers was working with an injured left bicep almost from the beginning. With just about thirty seconds to go in the opening round, something happened with Chambers' bicep that he noticed right away and was in pain from right away. For the two and a half minutes prior to this, Chambers was doing a really good job of establishing his left jab and appeared to have the mindset of using that left jab to set up his right.
The injury changed things up and it became Chambers' right hand that dominated the action for the majority of the fight. Whether it was a straight right, an overhand right, or a haymaker with his right hand, Chambers would land it. In effect, Chambers nearly beat Adamek with one arm. B.J. Flores of NBC Sports Network ended up scoring the bout 115-113 for Chambers on the broadcast, the best illustration of the effectiveness of Chambers' right in this fight.
But don't believe for a second that this was a robbery win for Adamek. In fact, it was a late rally that ended up sealing the fight for Adamek. Finally able to start throwing combinations at his usual rate and starting to land with the jab more, Adamek was able to take control of the final five rounds by outworking Chambers despite not landing many significant blows. It was about the accumulation of landed punches more than landing a big punch here and a big punch there; that ended up being Chambers' way of winning rounds due to the injury and its effect on how he boxed after it occurred.
A striking aspect to this fight was the fact that Chambers was fighting at the lowest weight (202 pounds) of his career while Adamek was fighting at the heaviest (225 pounds) of his. The most surreal thing about this was that it produced a fight where both fighters resembled how the other fought prior to this night. In what almost seems like a past life compared to how he fought Saturday, Chambers was usually a more lumbering fighter relying more on his power than anything else; Adamek's speed decrease on Saturday night resembled this. In the past, Adamek routinely displayed good footwork and an ability to land good, effective punches; that was Chambers in this fight.
This ended up being a fight that boxing needed after the last few weeks: a close, competitive fight with plenty of skill being put on display, and relatively little controversy.
It was only a little because once again, a poor night of scoring came into focus as the Polish contingent in Newark for the fight may have played a part in how the judges scored things.
Perhaps it was fear of a Polish riot that compelled judge Alan Rubenstein to score this fight 119-109 for Adamek when it was virtually impossible that such a score could have happened in this fight for either fighter. The other two judges, Steve Weisfeld and Joseph Pasquale, both scored the bout 116-112 for Adamek. Those scores also don't seem very realistic with what fans were treated to in the ring, but they are more understandable than Rubenstein's off night.
Another thing that may have swayed the judges more than it should have was how much busier Adamek was throughout the fight than Chambers. Adamek threw just under double the amount of punches that Chambers threw in the fight. Despite the fact that Adamek didn't land a significantly larger amount than Chambers, it was about the perception that Adamek was doing more to win the fight because he was so busy. That was very likely the key to Adamek's title win.
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