Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Adamek Likely Headed to Heavyweight Division

Instead of training to come down in weight, Tomasz Adamek will likely move up and fight the big men who reside in the heavyweight division.

Sources claim that IBF cruiserweight belt-holder Tomasz Adamek has likely thrown his final blow as a 200-pounder and will move north to the more lucrative heavyweight division.

There has been some frustration on the part of Adamek, as well as his management and promotional teams, in their inability to secure television dates and a high-profile opponent at cruiserweight. Adamek won the IBF title with a thrilling decision win over Steve Cunningham in December and he followed that with a knockout win over top-contender Johnathon Banks in February.

However, those impressive wins did not translate into future appearances on HBO or Showtime. Executives at both cable networks expressed tepid interest in featuring the Polish champion on their airwaves for the remainder of 2009. Representatives within both organizations indicated they had a limited number of available dates and were not able to make room for Adamek on their schedules.

A bout with former undisputed middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins was discussed and preliminary negotiations were entered into between Main Events, Adamek's promoter, and Golden Boy Promotions who represent Hopkins. But the two sides were unable to agree on compensation for the two fighters and Adamek, who was eager to remain active, sat idle for five months.

Adamek was eventually reduced to accepting a stay busy match against 35-year-old clubfighter Bobby Gunn on July 11 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. For Adamek, who resides in Jersey City, it was his third straight appearance at the venue and he has developed into a fan favorite in the area who is capable of attracting enthusiastic crowds. However, the mismatch against Gunn (which Adamek won via 4th round TKO) was not televised and was only available on Internet pay-per-view.

Adamek has expressed a desire to engage in big fights with high-profile opponents. But with a lack of television revenue to round out the promotion it has been nearly impossible to secure the meaningful fights that he covets.

The reasoning behind the move to the division is that it would give Adamek the opportunity to win a world title in a third weight division (he held the WBC light heavyweight title from 2005-2007) and it would likely deliver higher monetary rewards. Adamek's trainer, Andrzej Gmitruk, is agreeable to the move to heavyweight and likes his man's chances to become the first Polish fighter to win titles in three weight divisions.

In March, Don King said that “The Polish Fight of the Century” could take place between Adamek and the King promoted heavyweight Andrew Golota, 41, who underwent surgery in late March to repair bone fragments in his right hand. The Polish heavyweight was also undergoing therapy for a damaged shoulder. When that fight was initially mentioned back in March, a Polish billionaire indicated he would be willing to finance the fight this autumn in Poland. However, sources now indicate that an Adamek-Golota fight, were it to happen, would likely take place in Newark, N.J.

Sources also indicate that Adamek would likely make tentative initial moves into the heavyweight division. A possible name mentioned as a first opponent is Monte Barrett, with a later eye toward the top-ranked Eddie Chambers.

July 2009

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