Fighting a Ghost: Chambers vs. Mchunu, part II

I did a short “live blog” of the fight here.

You can read other accounts of the fight

Here (Boxing News)

When Chambers would come in punching range, Mchunu would pot shot him with jabs, right hands and straight lefts. Mchunu looked like a heavier, more muscular version of Floyd Mayweather Jr. with the way that he was able to dominate Chambers with pot shots and counter punches all night long.

Chambers looked frustrated in the second half of the fight, as he kept getting nailed by Mchunu fast shots over and over again, and there was nothing he could do about it because he didn’t have the hand speed or the skills to compete against the little known Mchunu.
This Mchunu looks for real at cruiserweight.

Here (Bad Left Hook):

Mchunu (14-1, 10 KO) won on scores of 99-91, 99-91, and 97-93, the latter score closer than anyone else had it that I was able to see on Twitter or on the site here. BLH had it 100-90 for Mchunu, finding no pity rounds to give Chambers (36-4, 18 KO).

The 31-year-old Chambers just never got out of the starting blocks in this one, as he looked bewildered by the southpaw counter-puncher from South Africa, as if he had no real game plan and was just there to wing it and see what happened. Several theories were offered during the fight: Chambers’ usual speed advantage was gone, Chambers didn’t know how to fight a southpaw, Chambers ate bad Subway pulled pork, #FAMJUICE is definitely not a PED, and so on, but really, he just got outboxed and outfought for the entire fight.

and here (Super Sport: South Africa)

Mchunu had hardly any trouble in keeping the experienced American at bay and picked his punches well throughout. Rated seventh by the WBC, Mchunu probably put himself in line for more lucrative bouts against good opponents.

He improved his professional record to 14-1, with 10 knockouts. Chambers dropped to 36-3, including 18 short-cut wins.

The 31-year-old American had fought the likes of Samuel Peter, Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin. He fought at heavyweight for most of his 13 years as a professional but recently dropped to the cruiserweight division.

Mchunu, a 24-year-old southpaw, had never fought outside South Africa before taking part in this Fight Night tournament.

Chambers lost to Klitschko and Adamek in his previous three fights and had been inactive since June last year. But he was expected to use his height and reach advantages to beat the little-known South African.

If one wants to look at all aspects of this fight, one has to give Mchunu credit for a fine performance. He was very well prepared and he shone; he fought a very smart, disciplined fight.

But I am approaching this as a Chambers follower/fan.

So here is my fan’s opinion (which, by definition is probably a mostly uninformed one):

Here is what went wrong: (follow for the first 2 minutes):

Wait: this was over 3 years ago, right? (March 2010)

In my opinion: Chambers was 35-1 coming into that fight, with just a UD loss to Alexander Povetkin. Losing to Klitschko made him 35-2. Then, after recovery, he had a sort-of lackluster (but earned) UD vs. Derric Rossy (a guy he had previously knocked out) and a controversial UD loss to Tomasz Adamek; Chambers tore a bicep muscle early in the fight and fought on anyway, and in my opinion (and in the opinion of other observers), actually out landed Adamek (causing visible damage) but lost on the score cards because Adamek was busier.

In short, Chambers has lost 3 of his last 4 fights, albeit to top competition (current champion, past champion and top ten contender, top ten contender).

But, it appears to me that he has lost something; 40 professional heavyweight fights vs. people like Sam Peter, Wladimir Klitschko, Tomasz Adamek, Alexander Povetkin and Alexander Dimitrenko will take something out of you.

I wonder if it is time for him to start thinking about *owning* a gym rather than training in it; right now his mind appears to work pretty well. He has had an excellent career.

As far as last night’s fight: Chambers has got some rather negative remarks on the social media.

This reminds me (vaguely) of what happened to me my freshman year at the Naval Academy. I had wrestled in high school and had beaten a couple of other guys who wrestled in high school. So when I took the “place out of PE wrestling” test, I was matched against someone who was recruited for the wrestling team and who had WON varsity matches as a freshman.

When I went against him: total joke. I’d try a move and …he wasn’t there anymore…he was constantly a step (or two or three!) ahead of me the entire time. I looked pathetic; as if I had never wrestled a day in my life. I failed the “place out test”.

The two guys that I had beaten (easily): they wrestled each other and BOTH placed out. Later, I wrestled both again, and had no problems; I could beat them. But I couldn’t beat a ghost.

Obviously, last night’s professional fight was at a much, much, much higher level, but I know the feeling of making a move (punch in this case) and the target being long gone and ready to counter. You get frustrated, tentative and discouraged, and that is what I saw last night.


August 4, 2013 - Posted by | boxing | , ,

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