When it comes to exciting but under-rated fighters Tomasz Adamek may have been the the best for the last 5 or 6 years giving up fantastic wars on a regular basis. Notably his two all out wars with Australian Paul “Hurricane” Briggs which had made him the WBC Light Heavyweight champion in 2005 (and the rematch the following year). Yet more recently his battle with Steve “USS” Cunningham was another that had sailed under the radar of the fans disinterested in the lesser named boxers. Though when Adamek met the explosive punching and former Heavyweight title contender Cristobal Arreola some felt that that the talented Pole had bitten off more than he could chew. Arreola was a huge fighter with a 33lb weight advantage power in either hand (having stopped 25 of his 28 wins by stoppage and a further 2 had finished by DQ), and many had expected “The Nightmare” to brush aside the former Light Heavyweight with ease. Both fighters had only lost once, Adamek had been out pointed by Chad “Bad” Dawson in 2007, the Pole’s final fight at 175lbs whilst Arreola had been broken down by Vitali Klitschko and retired after 10 one sided rounds. Though who won? What was the result of Adamek v Arreola?
The fight started well for “Goral” who settles into his rhythm swiftly and seemed to take the first round with aggression, accuracy and work rate, though it seemed every time the bigger Arreola landed Adamek was sent well back. The following two rounds though saw Adamek landing repeated combinations and avoid the heavy artillery that was fired back at him, in fact he was making the power house seem as stationary as a house and cleverly out boxing him. Though the fight seemed to swing in the following three rounds, Arreola landing his big punches and seemingly hurting the Adamek on several occasions with big power shots. At times during these rounds it looked like Adamek’s shots weren’t effecting Arreola at all as he walked through them, shrugging them aside like like they were pea shooters hitting his tank like frame.
His success was limited however with Adamek fighting his way back into it over the following three rounds, HBO commentators were trying to tell us that this was Adamek putting the “stabilisers” on the fight, though it seemed more like he was getting a second wind. He was again out boxing the slower Arreola and although it often seemed like one punch “could” change the fight at any time Adamek seemed to become more able to take a shot, he was out manoeuvring the rugged and powerful Arreola with ease. Although the bigger man forced him to the ropes on several occasions it just seemed too easy for him to move off them and get back to work.
The 10th saw a fleeting respite for Arreola who had started to fall behind on the cards with some feeling he was due his second wind after a diabolical 8th that had seen him pondering around the ring with out throwing, or landing a great deal of note. The 10th though would be the final decisive round that Arreola could claim as his own. With a 2 point lead on my card Adamek just had to earn a share of one of the final 2 rounds to take the win and he managed this by winning the 11th round, a round that meant if he could survive the final 3 minutes his stock would rise immeasurably.
Although the twelfth is typically one of the best rounds of fights with fighters battling to win it and the fight, this was probably the worst round of the bout. Adamek knowing he had to make it to the bell used his movement, his fast feet and skill to stay from Arreola for most of the round. Although it seemed almost certain that Arreola would need a stoppage he failed to chase down Adamek instead allowing the Pole to dance around him, confident he’d done enough.
Although during the latter part of the fight Arreola had seemed in pain from various injuries, including what appeared to be a damaged hard (or even bicep) an injured leg and a seriously marked up faced he had never given up trying to land the fight ending blows. Repeated shots in the 10th landed flush on the Pole as they had in the middle rounds, in fact it was one such shot that seemed to damage Arreola’s hand more than Adamek’s head. Though sadly for the portly power puncher he had failed to land it.
With Michael Buffer reading the scorecards it seemed amazing the first judge had given it as a draw (114-114), was there to be a controversy in an another Adamek fight? The following cards read 115-113 (a 1 round swing) and 117-111 (a 3 round swing) both to the winner…Tomasz Adamek.
Adamek had proven he could take a true heavyweights shot, he could box cleverly and use movement to his advantage, he was busy and aggressive even if he did seem unable to hurt the behemoth in front of him. For the Pole, now based in Jersey City, New Jersey his climb up the heavyweight rankings has been a great one, winning all 3 fights since moving up. He now seems ready for a true title fight (to add to his IBF International heavyweight title), though for the loser it seems a proper training camp, a serious diet and more discipline is needed.
In a fight that went under the radar of many we may finally have seen an exciting heavyweight bout that will hopefully help to establish just how good the 41-1 (27 KO) Tomasz “Goral” Adamek really is. For Arreola his time may yet come and his current 28-2 record has only seen him beat by two very good fighters. A great result for Adamek and boxing as a whole.
One question to put out to boxing fans around the world, how hard must Paul Briggs have hit Adamek in 2006 to have him legitimately down on the canvas? (unlike the semi-trip of a seemingly weight drained Adamek in 2007)