It's the 4th of July weekend this weekend, so there's not a lot of action, and no fights televised in the US. There is one big one, but you'll need to find a stream to watch it...
- On ZDF late Saturday afternoon, Eddie Chambers tries to claw his way back up the heavyweight rankings with a matchup against Alexander Dimitrenko. As a 6'7" rightie trained by Fritz Sdunek, Dimitrenko is somewhat of a very poor man's version of Vitali Klitschko. He's big and he can use his height, but he often doesn't get a full advantage out of his size. He has a little bit of pop, but he's not all that powerful. He moves decently for a big guy, but he can be a little robotic. He is a bit more forward-moving and aggressive than the current incarnation of Vitali Klitschko, and I could see him putting on a decent fight against the right opponent. To win this fight in Germany, Chambers will need to get out of his comfort zone a bit and just take the fight. If he can maintain a high workrate, occasionally fight on the inside, and remember to actually use his right hand, then Chambers could win. Hopefully he's well on his way to improving his stamina - reportedly, he's coming in at a career-low weight for this fight, somewhere in the 205 pound range. Still, you can't change a tiger's stripes, and I suspect Chambers will try to win a jabbing contest from the outside like he usually does, which is straight up a losing strategy for Chambers in this fight. Dimitrenko by UD, although Chambers will probably win 4 or 5 rounds.
- On paper, Anselmo Moreno vs. Mahyar Monshipour looks like an immediate fight of the year candidate. Moreno is technically skilled and able to fight on the outside, but can be lured into a brawl, and Monshipour should be just the guy to do that. Monshipour originally retired after his 2006 fight of the year with Somsak Sithchatchawal, but he's earned this title shot with three straight recent victories. Still, there's a difference in class between the two fighters, and I expect Moreno to be able to win, even though the fight is on Monshipour's home soil.
- Tomorrow night in Russia, Darnell "The Ding a Ling Man" Wilson faces off against 31-1 Grigory Drozd. Wilson had a good run a while back, knocking out what seemed like four solid opponents in a row, but the run really wasn't what it cracked up to be. Dale Brown was pretty close to shot and retired after the right. Daniel Judah moved down to 175 and has lost 2 of his last 3, albeit to top 10 guys (Yusef Mack and Glen Johnson). Concrete Davis IS shot, and has lost his last 5 in a row since facing Ding (although, to be fair, somewhere in the middle he did break his back in a bizarre training accident, where he was doing roadwork on railroad tracks in New Zealand and had to jump off of a bridge to not get run over by a train). Emmanuel Nwodo was recently destroyed by Matt Godfrey. Anyway, at this point Wilson has lost 3 of his last 4, which earned him another big fight. He looked absolutely horrible on the Contender, and he had problems with making weight. Drozd's lone loss is by knockout though, and we know Ding's strategy is to go headhunting, so anything can happen.
- Souleymane M'Baye faces Colin Lynes in France. Not too long ago, M'Baye was a beltholder in the junior welterweight division and a solid contender. I don't think M'Baye is any worse now than he was before, yet he's nowhere near the top 10. I think this speaks well to how the weight class is getting stronger.
- Alexander Alexeev faces Kendrick Releford on the Chambers-Dimitrenko undercard. Another soft touch for Alexeev, who looked like the next big thing at cruiserweight until he gassed out and was beaten into submission by Victor Ramirez a couple of fights ago. Releford is a bit tricky and is much better than his 20-12-2 record indicatesm, but he carries very little power.