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Philip H. Anselmo: Does Tomasz Adamek Have A Chance At Heavyweight?

Posted on 09/30/2009

With all the attention drawn to ultra-gregarious, former undisputed cruiserweight champ David Haye, who challenges 7-foot Nicolay Valuev for the WBA heavyweight girdle this fall, the emergence of current IBF and Ring Magazine cruiserweight king Tomasz Adamek’s venture into the division of big men has thus far been a quiet one. The relentless punching Adamek (38-1, 26 KO’s) is currently set to meet seen-better-days, perennial underachiever and rival countryman Andrew Golota (41-7-1, 33 KO’s) on Oct. 24th in Lodz Poland in a 12 round domestic “Bragging Rights” type fight.

After moving into the cruiser ranks, where he’s defeated the likes of former unified champ O’Neill Bell (TKO 8), the always-dangerous Steve “USS” Cunningham (WSD12), and Emanuel Steward-trained Johnathon Banks (TKO 8), Adamek and manager Ziggy Rozalski have been haggling desperately for marquee opponents.

A proposed bout with the timeless conqueror of many men, Bernard Hopkins fell through several times due to money disputes, and unification bouts with tough WBA cruiser champ Guillermo Jones or WBC titlist Giacobbe Fragomeni proved a political nightmare. Not to mention the option to face either of the aforementioned belt holders at cruiser weren’t the big fights Team Adamek lusted for.

So without a paramount battle in sight at 200 pounds, Tomasz, not too much unlike Haye, has invaded the heavyweights. And word has it that if Adamek is successful in his fight with Golota, he plans to continue campaigning at heavyweight.

To be clear, Haye cleaned the cruiserweight division out, minus an unfulfilled (and unneeded) bout with former IBF champ Cunningham, before moving up in weight, whereas Adamek seems to be testing the waters at heavy for lack of landing a big fight in his respective weight class.

How will Tomasz fair at heavyweight against the 6ft 4in, 250 pound, 42-year old Golota? And if he wins, how would he do vs. any top 10 heavyweights?

The King of The Biofile, Scoop Malinowski has some insight on the Golota fight: “I think at this stage of their careers, Adamek has the edge in speed and quickness to beat Golota, but Andrew is really, really up for this fight. If I had to pick a winner right now…I’d go with Adamek on points because of his speed and skill. But if he gets caught by a clean solid shot from Golota, he might take a ten count.”

However, KRONK guru Steward warns against Adamek venturing too deeply into the heavyweights. “Tomasz is a very exciting fighter whose mental strength exceeds his natural talent, but that’s what champions are made of,” praised Emanuel. But in the same breath stated, “Adamek has always had hard fights, whether it be at light-heavy or cruiser. He’s really not that big a guy (6 ft 1 1/2in, 75 inch reach), so I cannot see him having much of a chance against today’s bigger heavyweights.”

Honestly, the only parallels between Adamek and Haye’s move up in weight are the fact that they both sought out seemingly “safe” fights in their heavyweight debuts, with David facing shop-worn Monte Barrett in his first go-round. However, depending on which guy shows up, Golota could prove to be the tougher fight, especially for Adamek.

Don’t get me wrong, David would’ve been the favorite if he’d had fought Andrew as well, not to mention I think Haye very well could knock Golota out with the first clean right landed. Golata’s history of struggling against big punchers early in big fights is long and speaks for itself.

It’s Adamek’s size and style that bother me as far as facing the taller, heavier fighters. Adamek has underrated skills, and he very well may out-hustle or even stop an ancient Golota, but how would he fair fighting Chris Arreola, Denis Boystov, Nicolay Valuev or either Klitschko brother for that matter? Not all that well the way I see it, but there’s a slight upside.

A fight against Arreola or Boystov would be fun while they lasted, but the weight disparity could cause the smaller Adamek problems down the stretch of a toe-to-toe brawl with either guy. His punching power would also be a big question mark against the big men. Tomasz is an extremely skilled fighter who fights with passion, but facing today’s giants is a different challenge.

In a fight with Valuev, the sheer size differential would be extremely tough to cope with, while a fight vs. either Klitschko brother would prove to be a pointless beating of the worst sort. The big paydays may not be worth career destroying results. And as hypothetical these scenarios are, if Adamek defeats Andrew in spectacular fashion, some alphabet group will rate him in their top-10, and then the race is on. If the heavyweight division needs excitement, a fighter like Tomasz would be a more than welcome addition, but is it a realistic venture?

Put it this way, if Golota fought Barrett at this point in their careers, the outcome could go either way, depending on the location of the fight or the day. But if Haye and Adamek were to ever square-off in the future, I’d put every penny I had on David to win, and win big, that is, if I were a betting man. But that’s a bet I could most definitely lose. With Adamek’s power and Haye’s chin, anything could happen.

As under the radar as Team Adamek is about their man moving up to heavyweight, there must be some doubt amongst them as to how far Tomasz can really go. Zeus knows, the heavyweight division is always in need of exciting new blood, especially in this day and age. But it looks like Adamek’s soaring confidence may be his undoing IF he gets past Golota and continues pursuing a pipedream leading nowhere, when in truth, Adamek has quite a future if he continues fighting at cruiserweight. If Adamek is smart and patient, (and with guys like Roy Jones Jr. hanging around), there’ll be big money fights in the future. All he has to do is keep fighting, and winning.

Just not as a heavyweight from here on out. PA

Philip H. Anselmo penned this boxing article while on a rigorous tour across North America with his superband DOWN which attracted promoter Lou DiBella, Biohazard’s Evan Seinfeld and Tattoo king Paul Booth to the smash sell-out New York City show on September 11.

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