Vitali Klitschko (42-2, 39 KOs) of Ukraine will be defending his WBC heavyweight belt against Poland’s Tomasz Adamek (44-1, 28 KOs) on Sept. 10th at Stadion Miejski, Wroclaw, Poland.
It will be the eighth title defence for the 40-year-old champion since winning the vacant belt back in 2004 by eighth-round TKO over Corrie Sanders. He also held the WBO version of the title in 1999 and defended it three times before losing to Chris Byrd after the ninth round in 2000.
It’s actually that fight against Byrd that gives Adamek hope in this bout. This is because like Byrd, Adamek is a small heavyweight. He’s a former world light-heavyweight and cruiserweight champion who many people feel is too small to take on the 6-foot-7 Klitschko. However, they said the same thing about the 6-foot Byrd, who entered the ring at 210 lbs against the 244 lb. giant and took the title from him.
The 34-year-old Adamek stands just over 6-foot-1 and has fought as heavy as 220 lbs. in the past. He weighed in at 215 for his last fight in April, which was a 12-round unanimous decision over 6-foot-6 Kevin McBride, who fought at 285 lbs. Adamek has also tuned up against Vinny Madalone (230 lbs), Michael Grant (261 lbs.), Chris Arreola (250 lbs.), Jason Estrada (237 lbs.), and Andrew Golota (256 lbs.), since turning heavyweight in 2009, with Grant also being 6-foot-7.
As you can see, Adamek has done his homework and gone about his preparations the right way by taking on boxers who have a distinct weight and sometimes height advantage. He’s won them all. In fact, his only loss came back in 2007 when he came out on the wrong end of a unanimous decision to Chad Dawson and lost his WBC Light Heavyweight Title in the process.
A lot of experts are calling this a mismatch, but when you look at the situation more closely an argument could be made that Adamek has actually faced the better opposition in the last few years. Neither fighter has really taken on anybody who was in their prime lately and the only common opponent is Arreola. Klitschko stopped him after 10 rounds and Adamek beat him by majority decision two fights later.
Adamek doesn’t possess a lot of power as a heavyweight, but he’s got a solid chin and is pretty adept at getting in and out while landing scoring blows. However, it’s not too hard to lure him into a brawl. But as Byrd proved a decade ago, you don’t exactly have to be a giant and a hard puncher to beat Klitschko.
Granted, it was a long time ago now, but at least it’s a blueprint that Adamek could study and follow. A hit-and-run style could rack up points for the Polish fighter and if his chin holds out we could see an upset. Adamek will also have the advantage of the home crowd as this is one of Klitschko’s rare fights outside of his adopted homeland of Germany. If Adamek was the same size as Klitschko experts would be calling this a great matchup, but because of the difference in height and weight they’re writing it off, which could be a big mistake.
Adamek by decision after 12 rounds. Adamek is a big dog, but I think he has what it takes to last in this match and pull out a decision victory for a big payday for Adamek supporters.