Vitali Klitschko vs. Tomasz Adamek: 10 Things You Need to Know
Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko have been dominating the heavyweight division for the better part of the past decade. Slow, technical and methodical, fans have been begging for an exciting fight to challenge their reign.
David Haye couldn't do it, nor could Cristobal Arreola or many other fighters before them. Older brother Vitali will face the brothers' newest challenge on September 10 in the form of Tomasz Adamek. Here are 10 things you need to know about the all-Euro match-up.
Neither Man Is Familiar with the Letter ‘L’
Neither Tomasz Adamek nor Vitali Klitschko lose very often. In 86 professional fights, the two men have come up on the wrong end of the fight just three times. Klitschko’s last loss was eight years and 10 bouts ago.
The big Ukrainian received a seventh round TKO against Lennox Lewis in a highly contested fight that saw too much damage to Klitshko’s eye for the fight to continue. Klitschko was ahead on points in that bout, as he was against Chris Byrd, when a shoulder injury stopped him for his first loss.
Adamek has not lost in four years and 13 fights, when he was out-pointed by Chad Dawson in a light heavyweight title fight. Adamek is undefeated in six heavyweight fights, with two knockouts to his credit.
Adamek Has the Best Chance at Dethroning the Klitschkos
Tomasz Adamek, not David Haye, should be considered the top contender to topple the Klitschkos. After all the talk, Haye flopped about the ring for 12 rounds against Wladimir Klitschko, blaming an injured toe for his horrid performance.
Disciplined, technical and skilled, Adamek does all his talking in the ring. It will certainly not be an easy task, but Haye failed against little brother Wladimir, and Vitali dominated Christobal Arreola. With the exception of the relatively unproven Alexander Povetkin, who's left?
Tomasz Adamek Is Following an Old School Path
Tomasz Adamek has followed a linear path to the top division in boxing: from light heavyweight to cruiserweight up to heavyweight. Once upon a time before the giants dominated the division, this was a classic approach.
Evander Holyfield was a cruiserweight champion and Muhammad Ali was an Olympic champion at light heavyweight. Unlike Holyfield, who was a great boxer before moving up in weight class (where he adopted the Joe Frazier approach of blocking as many punches as possible with his head), Adamek has brought the skill and technique that made him a great champion at the lower weight classes up to the bigger division.
Klitschko and Adamek Have a Common Opponent: Christobal Arreola
The September 10 match-up between Vitali Klitschko and Tomasz Adamek features the only two men to defeat Chris Arreola. Klitschko destroyed Arreola for 10 rounds before the heavy heavyweight retired on his stool, while Adamek outpointed the California native for the decision.
Arreola looked uncomfortable for the entirety of the Klitschko fight and could not find his range against his taller opponent. He stayed in the imperfect range nearly the whole fight: close enough to get picked apart by Klitschko, but never getting close enough to get inside his long arms.
Arreola looked much more comfortable as the bigger man against Adamek, and seemed to be in better shape. Arreola was near the same weight, but moved around better and displayed much better hand speed. That did not stop Adamek from winning a majority decision, though the fight was much closer than the embarrassing show Arreola put forth against “Dr. Iron Fist.”
Iron Fist vs. Iron Chin
Vitali Klitschko holds an impressive record of 39 knockouts in 42 victories. Conversely, Adamek has only been knocked down twice in his career, both first round flash knock downs that did not do any damage, as he got up to win both fights easily.
Adamek has not been knocked down since entering the heavyweight division, making it likely that this fight will go to the cards. If the fight does indeed go the distance, we could all be in for a surprise, because…
Adamek Has Home Field Advantage
While David Haye took the fight into the Klitschko’s back yard in Germany, Vitali Klitschko’s title defense will take place in Tomasz Adamek’s home country of Poland.
There has not been a good old-fashioned robbery for quite some time in boxing. If Klitschko cannot finish Adamek before the end of the fight, we could see an upset on the scorecards.
Adamek Is Coming to Win
When it was all said and done, it seemed as though David Haye wanted to fight Wladimir Klitschko as much to increase his celebrity and brand as it was to defeat his opponent.
This will not be the case with Tomasz Adamek. “When I go into the ring, I go to win. My heart is strong, my sprit too. I am not going to the ring to lose. I want to win. This is my dream,” Adamek said in an interview with ESPN.
His heart and passion will be on display Saturday night as he tries to make his dream a reality.
Tomasz Adamek Has the Speed Advantage and He Will Need It
Tomasz Adamek has a lot more speed, in both his hands and his feet, than Vitali Klitschko. He will need both in order to pull off the upset.
Adamek has been preparing for this fight by facing taller fighters. Klitschko is an intimidating 6'7" with an 80" reach.
In his last few fights, Adamek has taken on the 6’6” Kevin McBride, the 6’7” Michael Grant and the 6’4” Chris Arreola. McBride matches Klitschko’s reach at 80,” while Michael Grant eclipses it at an incredible 86.”
McBride did not do Adamek any favors by showing up horridly out of shape. His experience against Michael Grant, however, a consummate professional who was once a heavyweight champ, will do him well in his fight against the Klitschko.
In order to defeat Klitschko, Adamek cannot let the taller fighter dominate the range. To do that, he will need to use his foot speed to dart around and under “Dr. Iron Fist’s” devastating jabs and straights.
Vitali Klitschko Is in Unfamiliar Territory
Vitali Klitschko has never fought a boxer like Adamek. For the most part, Klitschko has faced slow-footed big men (Shannon Briggs, Samuel Peter, Chris Arreola) who were just sitting ducks for his destructive jabs and straights.
Even when Klitschko fought someone as skilled as he was, Lennox Lewis, he was nearly as big as Klitschko and did not have the quickness of Adamek.
Tomasz Adamek will have to hope less is more against Klitschko.
Tomasz Adamek Can Win the Fight
In order to do so, he will need to figure out what no one else completely has: how to dominate the range against Vitali Klitschko. The ideal candidate would be a master of Cus D'Amato's bob and weave, but we may never see a heavyweight like that again.
That being said, Adamek may just be quick enough to move in and out of danger, avoiding the majority of Klitchsko's dangerous jabs. He has been practicing just that in his last several bouts, with match-ups against the Brothers Drago being the ultimate goal.
If he can go the distance and keep the scorecards close, a little home cooking may swing the decision in his favor.