Though he has two mandatories, and one has been pending for over a year, world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko appears to have made up his mind. BoxingScene.com's Rick Reeno reports that sources indicate Klitschko will face American Eddie Chambers next, perhaps on December 12.
Chambers (35-1, 18 KO) won his distinction as the WBO mandatory challenger by beating previously-undefeated Alexander Dimitrenko in July. Klitschko's other mandatory is IBF top-rated Alexander Povetkin (17-0, 12 KO), who won a four-man mini-tournament in late 2007/early 2008. Povetkin first beat Chris Byrd, and then defeated Chambers in the final eliminator bout.
Povetkin was scheduled to face Klitschko last December, in fact, a full 11 months after his win over Chambers. But he came up injured and was replaced rather pathetically by former champion Hasim Rahman. Povetkin has fought twice since beating Chambers, staying busy in July 2008 with a win over journeyman Taurus Sykes and beating Jason Estrada in April.
Reeno says that the Klitschko decision may have been influenced by the sanctioning bodies themselves, as the WBO's window is shorter than the IBF's. The IBF, frankly, seems pretty laid back and mellow about this whole thing. Povetkin earned that shot about 20 months ago.
One thing you can say about Wladimir: He isn't willing to give up his belts without having someone beat him.
As much as I like Chambers right now, I see this being no different than your average Wlad defense when all is said and done. Klitschko will timidly dominate and the other guy will either get sick of being jabbed in the face so many times and give up, or it'll go 12 boring rounds. Chambers doesn't have the type of power to chin check Wlad. I don't see this being a whole lot different than Wlad-Chris Byrd, really. Klitschko has nothing to fear against Eddie.
I'm also not going to try to get myself hyped for this fight. I kept trying to believe in Klitschko fights, but they're such snoozers I gave up before the Chagaev fight even happened, and that turned out to be a fine call on my part. Deep down I'll hope for a good fight, but I know it's not happening.