Eddie Chambers jabbed his way to a clear victory over Sam Peter Friday night, dominating the punch statistics while avoiding any damage from the bigger fighter. Though Chambers didn't have Peter in trouble or score any knockdowns during the fight, he scored consistently, albeit with a fairly low workrate. Peter for his part couldn't solve Chambers solid defensive guard or get into position to use his power advantage. The extra weight he carried from weighing in at 265 slowed him in the later rounds, but Chambers didn't try to capitalize with a stoppage, apparently feeling confident he would get the decision.
The results was a mixed decision for Chambers, with one judge scoring the fight a draw while another scored it 99-91 for Chambers; this is reflective of the fight's low workrate, which meant that many rounds could go either way. Here's how I called the fight:
Introduction. Peter looks big, not super-fat really, but not extra-muscular. Chambers not skinny or super-muscular either--has a few extra pounds himself.
Round One: Slow start, one jab from each. Fighters keeping at distance. Peter covering up like Chambers almost. Good counter from Chamber. Both fighters looking serious; Chambers gets in thru Peters' guard. Wild, wide swing by Peter misses. Chambers scores good combo, then Peter connects with good, hard jabs. Peter hitting hard but usually hitting Chambers' guard. Quick jabs from Chambers. Peter not hurt by anything but Chambers scored quite a bit more. 10-9 Chambers.
Round Two: Peter going to body on combo, gets tagged by a jab. Peter backing Chambers up, who responds with fast lead hands again. Peter lunging in on jabs, two big jabs from Chambers, then to body; Peter getting hit in face a lot. Decent right hand from Peter, followed by good shots to the face from Chambers, Peter whiffing on most punches. Peter goes to body tough, good exchange at end of round, no damage; Chambers 10-9; Total: 20-18
Round Three: Starts same as others, Peter in center of ring. Chambers gets caught in corner, doesn't get hit though. Peter to body, Chambers counters with jab; chess match at this point, both are hesitant. Chambers hits Peter with several jabs to face, good, flush shots but Peter unfazed; Chambers 3-4 more head shots; and three more even. Chambers dancing now, confident. Peter jab to face of Chambers, backs Chambers to ropes but he escapes. Chambers toying with peter, attacking face at end of round. Chambers 10-9 Total: 30-27. Chambers' corner asks ref to watch Peters' low shots to hip.
Round Four: Slow start to round, circling again. Peter not very active, Chambers smiles after Peter connects to Chambers' face. Peter tries big flurry but doesn't connect with much. Peter good jab. Chambers standing in front of Peter, doing nothing this round. Good double left jab from Chambers; body blow by Chambers; Chambers combo connects, now on ropes, returns jabs; punches from Peter get through guard, then low blow from Peter; lots of action at end, Peter frustrater by Chambers right and tries to attack in flurry. Peter's best round but questionable whether he really won it. 10-10 Total: 40-37 Chambers.
Round Five: Peter more aggressive at opener of round 5, throws jabs. Chambers relaxed, taking his time, choosing when to strike; Peter makes effort to close distance; Chambers backs off, jabs. Not much action entire round. Good exchange from both with 30 seconds left; Peter makes attempt at end but again doesn't connect with much. Could go either way again, neither fighter did much at all. 10-10 Total: 50-47 Chambers. Teddy Atlas of ESPN gave 2 and 3 to Peter, 1 and 4 to Chambers, which seems ridiculous to me. He gave 5 to Chambers too.
Round Six: Chambers scores with jabs; Peter trying to be more agressive rather than countering, but Chambers beats him to the jab. Chambers dancing occasionally, jabs and counters. Peter not doing much, but Chambers being very conservative. Chambers jabs twice, blocks Peter's counter, and jabs again. Peter connects a left & a body shot, but still getting peppered with jabs throughout. Chambers 10-9. Total: 60-56.
Round Seven: Same kind of action, a little bit less from both; Chambers stalking more, gets caught by uppercut, and Peter's jab gets through too; fighters exchanging, but not at a great rate. They're standing toe to toe but doing very little. The punches are fast from both, just very infrequent. Two jabs from Peter get in; good combo from Chambers, again Peter attempts clumsy flurry at end. Another close one, Peter wins on agression. Peter 10-9 Total: 69-66.
Round Eight: More agressive start from both, but they soon settle back into low workrate pattern: Chambers peppering jabs, Peter trying to stalk. Chambers doing little work. Chambers connects w/good combo; Chambers good combo again. Close round but Chambers clear winner, Peter didn't connect all round really. Chambers 10-9; Total: 79-75.
Round Nine: Peter more active, maybe sensing he needs KO, looking stronger this round. Chambers whiffs a few rare times. Peter looking better this round, more confident, boxing better, controlling the action more. More jabs from Chambers; left-right from Chambers. Peter relentless in attacks, but still not connecting much. Right hands exchanged by both fighters; Peter goes to Chambers' body. This is the one round I gave to Peter solely on aggression, as Chambers workrate was so low. Peter 10-9. Total 88-85. Atlas disagreed, said Peter got dominated this round. While this was true for the whole fight, this round was actually close since not much happened.
Round Ten: Peter looks tired after last round, but still active. Chambers fighting tough. Neither fighter very effective; both tired but active in final round. Chambers looks confident; Peter dancing a bit, trying to be aggressive. Chambers misses a few lefts, then connects on a few jabs, and hits Peter as Peter lunges in for last attempt. Chambers ok with round ending as Peter tries to wrestle him into corner. Final round irrelevant, 10-10. Chambers overall 98-95
Scoring: Punchtrack has Chambers connecting 43% of his punches, Peter 19%, which was true to what I saw; Peter was blocked most of the time by Chambers' defense.
Official result: Majority decision: 95-95 on one card; 96-94 and 99-91 Chambers
The 99-91 result is very understandable; if my 10-10 rounds go to Chambers, I would have had it 98-92, you could argue almost every round for him. The 95-95 draw is understandable only if you give every possible round to Peter, but it's hard for me to find five rounds which he definitely won. While the scoring seems disparate, the low workrate of the fight made the wide range of results possible. The more you grade on "control" and "aggressiveness" rather than actual punches landed, the closer to a draw the result is.
The fact that Chambers didn't hurt Peter much could be a factor, too, but Peter never came close to hurting Chambers, though there were a few cuts on his face. If Olympic scoring were used, Chambers could have won every round. But the low workrate put several rounds on the fence, and one judge chose to give all of them to Peter. Considering how Teddy Atlas scored some rounds, where even some that Chambers won clearly—like rounds 2 and 3—went to Peter on his card, I guess nothing is certain.
Chambers' win puts him back in future title contention. At just under 27 years of age, he rejoins the group of top young prospects: Povetkin, Arreola, Dimitrenko, & Platov. But he's already lost to Povetkin, and this fight didn't suggest he would win a rematch, as his workrate slowed throughout the fight like it did against Povetkin. He proved that he can defend against, and outbox, a bigger fighter, but also showed a lack of power for which he is famous.
Peter's fortunes decline with the loss, particularly due to his weight, which will make people wonder if he'll show up in shape for future bouts. And his will is called into question, too. After the disastrous Vitali Klitschko match, it might have been wise to set up a few certain wins for Peter, but his camp very boldly (and in the end, unfortunately) arranged a fight with a top young contender. Now they'll have to go the other route to build back his reputation as well as his fighting psyche.