Anthony Joshua

Isaac Chamberlain Comes Of Age Through Baptism of Fire

Wadi Camacho vs. Isaac Chamberlain is a bout I’m unlikely to misplace in my mental Rolodex of memorable clashes anytime soon. Rarely do you see the levels of brutality & durability in such a sustained fashion as was on show at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on Thursday 29 September 2016.

The referee Jeff Hinds had it 94-98 in favour of the likeable 22 year old Chamberlain from Brixton & whilst I’d had it somewhat closer – 94-96 – I also had the  former decorated amateur & now highly touted Matchroom prospect winning. Camacho came out all guns blazing & very nearly sprung the upset when he had his younger opponent in all kinds of bother in the fateful third round. During that round – along with taking a hammering from his opponent – Isaac’s shoulder gave way, with a dislocation of the joint strongly suspected.

Sat ringside I remember thinking to myself as I looked at Chamberlain going back to his corner – probable dislocated shoulder in tow – this fight has another 7 rounds to go; which is more rounds than he’s ever fought in a pro fight at any one time; he’s done some kind of damage to his shoulder & he’s in there with a guy with vastly more experience – how on earth does he get out of here without losing his ‘0’? Were there live betting on this fight at that moment Isaac would have been considered a rightful underdog.

Isaac’s trainer & uncle is a chap by the name of Ted Bami – a man who has shared a professional ring with Matthew Hatton; Gavin Rees; a 16-0 Bradley Pryce & many others during a professional career which lasted from 1998 to 2010. He was also an entrant in Prizefighter as far back as 2009. Had this been a Prizefighter bout & thus only three rounds the history books would have read Camacho UD but this wasn’t Prizefighter; this was a BBBofC Southern Area cruiserweight title fight & for Chamberlain; more importantly still; a test given to him by the onlooking Eddie Hearn in just his 6th professional outing that he simply had to pass.

And pass it he did – strangely, perhaps – the shoulder injury “helped” as it forced Chamberlain to use his power right hand from the orthodox stance sparingly which meant he had to box primarily using the jab as both a defensive and offensive weapon. What made the adjustment all the more impressive was that it was done in a smaller ring – that is – with less opportunity to get on his bike as could have been done in the larger rings generally seen in arena venues.

The beauty of this fight was the ebb and the flow of action with both fighters enjoying periods of dominance that required superhuman toughness on the part of their opponent to sustain & then rebound from. Eddie Hearn doesn’t seem afraid to ask questions of his highly regarded prospects & Isaac Chamberlain looks a real live threat in the cruiserweight division domestically as a result of more than answering the challenge laid on for him aged still just 22.

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