LOS ANGELES (AP) – Eddie Chambers knows he’s giving up nearly 40 pounds when he faces former heavyweight champion Samuel Peter on Friday night.

That’s not fazing the 26-year-old from Philadelphia, who is declaring the bout at the Nokia Theatre a make-or-break fight for his career.

“It’s more important to me than it is to him. He’s been there, he’s had a title, he had that opportunity to make a lot of money and that’s where I want to get to,” Chambers said during a recent interview at his temporary Woodland Hills apartment.

“I just believe it’s my turn. I need that title, too.”

Peter, who lost the WBC belt to Vitali Klitschko in embarrassing fashion last October, weighed 265 pounds on Thursday. Chambers weighed 223.

Chambers (33-1, 18 KOs) has been on the brink of a title shot before, losing to up-and-coming Alexander Povetkin in January 2008 and squandering a shot at recognized champion Wladimir Klitschko in the process.

“Losing put me so far back, not necessarily in the rankings, but in people’s minds,” Chambers said. “That was my first big fight on TV, on primetime. The main problem was mental focus.

“We had maybe 16, 17 days of actual camp time in Florida, then we finished in Germany. We couldn’t find good food, had to eat salad every day. It was a weird feeling, and I tried to overcome it, but it didn’t work out.”

Chambers changed his trainer – his father, Eddie Chambers Sr., is out – and his diet since the loss to Povetkin. He hasn’t eaten out since training camp started six weeks ago, with current trainer Rob Murray Sr. doing all the cooking and keeping wraps on where he is at all times.

“I’ve been doing possibly everything right,” Chambers said. “If you come to the room, you see five of us in there, manager, co-promoter, PR, and my other brother, who is a fighter. There is nothing I can do wrong.”

Chambers has won three in a row since the lone loss of his career, all against overmatched opponents, and Peter (30-2, 23 KOs) represents a big step up in class.

The Nigerian native, who stayed in Las Vegas while training for the fight, is known for his punching power and for beating the likes of James Toney, Jameel McCline and Oleg Maskaev.

Since his loss to Klitschko, Peter has also changed trainers, going back to Andy Anderson and ridding his corner of some of his managers.

“The October fight was a fight I just wanted to let go. I had a lot of snakes around me,” Peter said during a telephone interview. “I severed ties with a lot of people. That’s all I’ll say about that.”

Peter said he wasn’t focused for that fight, but is ready for his matchup with Chambers.

“Everybody says he is fast, but I am going to prove that I have more power,” Peter said. “I want to prove to everybody that nobody can match my power. I’m back with my team. I put more effort and I’ve lost 80 pounds. I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. He’s good, but I’ll match my speed with him.”

Former Olympian Javier Molina, the youngest member of the disappointing American team in Beijing, makes his professional debut against Jamie Cabrera on the undercard.

The 19-year-old Molina, a senior at John Glenn High School, never made it through the first round at the Olympics. Hours before his opener against Boris Georgiev of Bulgaria, Molina was told he’d be fighting even though he complained of chest pains and an exam detected a hole in his lung.

“I was depressed and thinking I wasn’t even going to step in the ring. Then I’m told four hours before the fight to start getting ready,” Molina said. “I didn’t feel right from the first punch.”

He lost by unanimous decision and has not fought since.

“I feel like I’m ready already to make that transition to the pros,” Molina said. “I was thinking about doing it a little sooner, but we wanted to pique interest before that happened.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.