Eddie Chambers was a good heavyweight contender for several years, but one of the smaller guys in the weight class. So he thought because he would have no problem making the 200-pound cruiserweight limit, he would drop down in weight and dominate his new division.
And then he looked absolutely horrible, sleepwalking through a one-sided, 10-round decision loss Aug. 3 to an utterly obscure, hand-picked opponent, South Africa’s Thabisco Mchunu, in his first fight in the division.
There’s no way around this: It was a really, really bad defeat and Chambers’ third in four fights, with the other losses being a decision to Tomasz Adamek and a brutal 12th-round knockout by heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko.
Losing to Klitschko and Adamek? Understandable. Losing to Mchunu (13-1, 9 KOs)? Not really.
But Chambers (36-4, 18 KOs) has accepted his loss and is ready to move on and give it another go.
“I do not want to in any form or fashion diminish that win [by Mchunu] by making excuses about my performance in the ring,” Philadelphia’s Chambers, 31, said. “I did my best that I could to make the fight. To win the fight. Losing this decision woke up my spirit to compete again and I will continue to pursue my career as a cruiserweight.”
To Chambers’ credit, he is not doing what a lot of fighters would -- make excuses about being drained from making weight.
“I felt fine throughout the bout. The weight loss was not a factor in my performance,” Chambers said. “I did not expect Mchunu to fight such a defensive, awkward fight. I was trying to follow instructions from my trainer, James Ali Bashir. It was very difficult to do as I am a counterpuncher as well, who was forced into being the aggressor. I felt that if I did not doing something to make the fight, there would have been no action during the fight. I am not that kinda guy who is going to lay around crying over spilled milk.”
The fight was only Chambers’ third since the 2010 loss to Klitschko. Chambers said his inactivity was part of the reason for such a lethargic performance.
“I want to get right back in there the way the old-school warriors used to do many years ago,” he said. “I take full responsibility for this critical setback in my career. My incentive is back and hopefully I will be able to meet Mchunu down the road and there will be a far a different result.
“I have fought just three times in the last three years. I want to get busy as soon as possible. I will show the world that I am a long way from being done.”