By Jackie Kallen
Two European heavyweights square off this Saturday night in Bethlehem, PA. Polish native Tomasz Adamek (49-2) with take on 16-0-1 Ukraine-born Vyacheslav Glakov at the Sands Casino.
This is a huge step up in class for Glakov. He has had only 17 pro fights and has only gone 10 rounds three times. Adamek has had 51 pro fights and has gone 12 rounds ten times. The difference in experience is staggering.
Adamek has been in with the top fighters in the world–guys like Chris Arreola, Jonathon Banks and Vitali Klitschko. He has stopped more than half of his opponents. The names on Glakov’s resume are relatively unknown. He is eight years younger than Adamek and a couple of inches taller.
On paper this looks like a totally one-sided beating about to take place. Adamek is considered to be the #3 top heavyweight in the world. Glakov is rated #14. When a top-rated guy fights someone who is not even in the Top 10, the results are usually predictable. But those who have been following Glakov warn viewers not to underestimate him.
Adamek has said that this fight is important to him because he wants to fight Wladimer Klitschko before either of them retire. He was beaten by Vitali and hopes he’ll get a shot at the other brother. If he loses, it may be time to hang them up and enjoy the memories of a long, fruitful career.
Glakov won bronze in 2008 and wants to prove that he is capable of being up there with the top boxers in his weight class. This fight was originally scheduled for last November, but Adamek got sick and had to reschedule. Glakov fought (and beat) Garrett Wilson instead. This time he is ready, conditioned, and planning to place himself up a few notches in the ratings.
The co-main event is also a good one. Hard-hitting Ronald Cruz, who has a record of 20-2, has never been stopped and has KOed almost 70% of the men who challenged him. He is fighting former IBF welterweight champ Kermit Cintron. Both men originally hail from Puerto Rico and although Cintron is seven years older, he reportedly still has a lot left. He got stopped by Canelo Alvarez in 2011, but has won a couple of fights since then.
Cruz lost two close fights in a row to Ray Narh and Antwone Smith (in 2012 and 2013) but has won his last three since then. He is hoping that a win over the former champ will boost his stock.
Also on the undercard, (21-2-1) 26-year old South African light heavyweight Isaac Chilemba will try to beat Russian prospect Denis Grachev (13-2-1). Edwin Rodriguez beat Grachev last year and Lucian Bute beat him the year before. Chilemba lost to Tony Bellow in the UK last year. Both men need this win, which makes it interesting.