Chambers Injured, Thompson is Wladimir Klitschko's New IBF Mandatory
Tony "The Tiger" Thompson and Fast Eddie Chambers were originally scheduled to face-off last night on ShoBox: The Next Generation, which took place at the Bally's Grand Ballroom in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Unfortunately for heavyweight fight fans, the bout was postponed and re-scheduled for a December 17th date due to a back injury suffered by Chambers during training camp.
Earlier today, it was announced that the heavyweight contender from Philadelphia, PA, would not be able to fulfill the rescheduled December 17th date as well, due to the nature of the injury. As a result, the IBF has decided to name their number two ranked heavyweight, Tony Thompson (36-2, 24 KO), as Wladmir Klitschko's (56-3, 49 KO) mandatory opponent.
The decision to bow out of the highly anticipated contest was very difficult for the heavyweight contender to make. But at only 29 years of age, Chambers feels that time is indeed on his side, and a decision to fight through injury for a fight of this magnitude would be ill advised.
"Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens in boxing," stated Eddie Chambers. "When you're fighting opponents at this level, you shouldn't take any chances with your health if you're not able to perform at maximum strength. I 've been able to fight through injuries in the past, but never against an opponent like Tony Thompson."
"I just want my fans and detractors to know that I don't do anything with a half-hearted effort. Boxing is a game, but it's not something that you play with. I will use this time to my advantage and I will be back next year stronger and more focused than ever."
Although, "The Tiger" feels bad for his friend Eddie Chambers (36-2, 18 KO), Tony Thompson is thrilled about getting another opportunity to fight for the IBF Heavyweight title.
"I can't wait to get my redemption. Wladimir has to prove to me that he can beat me when I have two healthy legs. Even through injury, I still gave him problems in our last fight."
Thompson refers to his previous bout with Wladimir Klitschko in 2008, when he tore his meniscus while training for the championship bout. Although the Maryland native fought valliantly, Thompson was ultimately stopped in the eleventh round and experienced his second professional loss.
"Having to watch the replay of that knock-out on HBO has been very difficult to deal with. Now I finally get my chance for revenge. I have been working my way back to this position over the last three years and now I'm here. I know I can defeat Wladimir Klitschko and bring the title back home if I'm able to be the real me and do the things that I know I can do."
The IBF has stated that Wladimir Klitschko will have 90 days to defend his title against his mandatory opponent after the completion of his next fight with former Cruiserweight Champion Jean Marc Mormeck.
In the event Klitschko decides to relinquish his IBF crown, Thompson will fight for the vacant IBF Heavyweight title against the number three ranked opponent, Robert Helenius. The Washington D.C. resident is just thrilled about getting another shot at the heavyweight title.
"When it comes down to it, I really don't care who I have to fight. I would prefer to redeem myself in a big fight with Wladimir and defeat the recognized heavyweight champion of the world, but any opportunity to bring the title back home will be a very welcomed and much appreciated opportunity."