A Showtime-televised IBF heavyweight eliminator featuring Eddie Chambers and southpaw Tony Thompson that was slated for Oct. 28 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City is off because of a chronic back injury suffered by Chambers that reached its most painful point last week, Chambers told RingTV.com.
“It was just something that has been going on for a long time, where, when I would run or things like that, the pain would just become unbearable. It just started happening again, and I just can’t explain what it is,” said the 29-year-old Chambers, who said he tried to endure the problem through sparring.
“It’s the lower back. I’ve gone to some doctors and they’ve basically said that it’s a lower back strain, something like that.”
Promoter Dan Goossen was matter-of-fact:
“Well, there’s really not much to say, other than this is something that happens in all sports. That’s why the Oakland Raiders just got Carson Palmer because Jason Campbell went down with an injury,” said Goossen.
“It’s an occurrence that happens in all sports with athletes in these rough and tumble sports. It’s something that frustrates networks, sites and fighters, but it’s something that happens.”
ESPN.com reports that Showtime will still televise a super middleweight bout between Brandon Gonzales (14-0, 10 KOs) and Ossie Duran (26-8-2, 9 KOs), as well as former Olympian Javier Molina (9-0, 4 KOs) against Artemio Reyes (13-1, 11 KOs).
Chambers (36-2, 18 KOs) was to meet Thompson (36-2, 24 KOs) in an IBF title eliminator bout for the right to avenge their respective stoppage losses against Wladimir Klitschko.
“It was really hard for me to make regular movements and to get around the ring. It was a difficult situation, it really was,” said Chambers. “I spoke to [Promoter Dan Goossen,] and it was just one of those things. I really didn’t want to have to do it, because a big opportunity has passed. But it just had to be.”
Chambers was knocked out in the 12th round by Klitschko in March of last year, but is coming off a unanimous decision over Derric Rossy in February.
Thompson, who turned 40 on Oct. 18, last lost when Klitschko stopped him in 11 rounds in 2008, but has won five straight bouts, all by knockout, since then.
“I’ll try to rehabilitate it with this masseuse guy that I work with and he’ll work on the different pressure points and stuff like that,” said Chambers. “Also, I’ll have to stretch a lot more, which is obvious. And then, it’s just going to be a lot of resting. I just have to rest until the point where it gets better.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org