Advertisement
Advertisement

A legal mood stabilizer: Adamek to beat Vitali Klitschko

By Lyle Fitzsimmons

Maybe it’s just a mood thing.

In the days of my youth, the week following Labor Day was never a favorite because it meant a return to school after an all-too-short summertime in Western New York.

And if readjusting to school bus and homework schedules weren’t enough, there was always the stark realization that bone-chilling temperatures and early-season snowfalls weren’t far away.

So even though I’ve moved more than 1,100 miles south and haven’t so much as grazed a snow shovel in a decade, I’m chalking up holiday grouchiness to subconscious hometown nostalgia.

And though he’s does nothing specific to warrant ire, when it comes to weekly boxing columns, Vitali Klitschko is the target of my admittedly illogical Tuesday venom.

Bottom line… I’m just sort of tired of the guy.

I concede that he’s been among the best – if not the very best – that the heavyweight division’s had to offer since he slung the WBO title belt over his shoulder by vanquishing Herbie Hide in 1999.

And given a sudden shoulder flameout against Chris Byrd a year later that could have been fatal given today’s “one-loss-and-he’s-finished” mentality, it’s surely respectable the mammoth Ukrainian has rebuilt both career and street cred with 15 wins in 16 fights since – all but three by KO.

But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

In fact, while I’ve seen the bigger older brother of multi-belt champion Wladimir beat an assembly line of overblown wannabes like Samuel Peter and Chris Arreola, he’s never once sent me away from a bout thinking, “Holy cow, I just saw an unbeatable fighter.”

Instead, I’m more often left combing the rankings for precisely the man who’ll handle him.

I initially thought Cuban amateur star Odlanier Solis had the stuff last March, but one glancing blow and one buckled knee later, it was back to the giant-slaying drawing board.

This time, though, I feel a little more confident.

In Polish veteran Tomasz Adamek, the now 40-year-old Klitschko faces an admittedly smaller foe – the two went chin to forehead in awkward stare-down pics at Monday’s final presser – but one who’s more than decisively handled 1,520 pounds of Goliath in six bouts since jumping from cruiserweight.

And unlike Solis and the other Davids who’ve slung stones toward Vitali since he returned from sabbatical, this one actually seems to mean it when he says he plans to win.

“I know how to beat Vitali Klitschko,” Adamek said. “I know that he’s a champion, but I’m convinced that Saturday night I will be three-division champion. Trust me, it will happen. Every great story has to end. His great story as a champion will end on Saturday.”

Nice speech, kid, but early returns say the odds-makers aren’t buying.

Adamek was a giant underdog upon a Monday night look-in with the folks at World Sports Exchange (wsex.com), who require a $600 bet on the champion to return $100, while a $100 speculation on the challenger would bring back four times the initial investment.

A late-round stoppage or scorecard decision seem the scenarios of choice, with the over/under in rounds set at 9½. It’s an even $100 for $100 for forecasting an end before 1:30 of round 10, with the required outlay swelling to $130 to reel back the same $100 in the final 450 seconds or beyond.

Make no mistake, those betting lines make perfect sense when clinically matching a 6-foot-7 behemoth against a challenger six inches shorter, who on his largest day was also 30 pounds lighter.

But what might look good on paper loses something in intangibles.

Unlike Peter, Arreola and the other contending flotsam in the heavyweight swamp, Adamek hits the ring with a mantel full of accomplishment from a dozen years as a professional.

He took his first title in 2006 and has fought for crowns five times since – winning all but once – while routinely entering as the smaller, quieter and less-menacing option.

By contrast, while Klitschko has always been in condition and surely performed well in vanquishing the likes of Peter, Arreola and Solis – not to mention J.C. Gomez, Kevin Johnson, Albert Sosnowski and Shannon Briggs – since Labor Day 2008, it seems decades ago that he met a foil considered anywhere near Adamek’s equal among the world’s pound-for-pound elite.

If at all.

After facing down myriad sluggers, speedsters and stylists on the way up the scale, it looks from here as if the hometown hero is ready for anything still offered by an older, slower and increasingly more robotic Klitschko, who’s lost to arguably the two best all-around fighters – Byrd and Lennox Lewis – he’s ever encountered on the big stage.

So, come Saturday, let’s call it a threesome.

In what’s far more likely to resemble death by a thousand cuts than a 36-minute bloodletting, Adamek walks away as WBC champion, sets up a true IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO unification with brother Wladimir and gives me an ear-to-ear smile with a unanimous decision win.

And, if he loses big in 3, so what?

It’s September, I was going to be angry anyway.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

This week’s title-fight schedule:

SATURDAY
Vacant IBF junior lightweight title – Guadalajara, Mexico
Argenis Mendez (No. 1 contender) vs. Juan Carlos Salgado (No. 3 contender)      
Mendez (18-1, 9 KO): First title fight; Unbeaten since 2008 (6-0, 1 KO)
Salgado (23-1-1, 16 KO): Third title fight (1-1, 1 KO); Held WBA title in 2009-10 (0 defenses)
Fitzbitz says: “Cagey Dominican out-skills former champ on home turf.” Mendez by decision

WBC heavyweight title – Wroclaw, Poland
Vitali Klitschko (champion) vs. Tomasz Adamek (No. 1 contender)
      
Klitschko (42-2, 39 KO): Seventh title defense; Held WBO and WBC titles (3 defenses)
Adamek (44-1, 28 KO): Ninth title fight (7-1, 4 KO); Held titles at 175 and 190 (4 defenses)
Fitzbitz says: “Newbie heavyweight pulls upset for third division crown.” Adamek by decision

Last week’s picks: 4-1
Overall picks record: 242-78 (75.6 percent)

Lyle Fitzsimmons has covered professional boxing since 1995 and written a weekly column for Boxing Scene since 2008. He is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Reach him at [email protected] or follow him at www.twitter.com/fitzbitz .

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by hu r u? on 09-07-2011

lmaooooooooo adamek beating vitali!!!!!

Comment by leff on 09-07-2011

[QUOTE=mathed;11093167]I guarantee that Adamek will push Vitali harder than he has been pushed in years.[/QUOTE] agreed, i think that all in all adamek has the best shot at beating vk that any fighter has had in recent years. hes fast,…

Comment by kenso on 09-06-2011

not surprised to see fitz write another idiotic article. regardless about who he wants to win the fight - there is no point in trashing a future hall of famer just because hes....dominating? i like adamek, and as much as…

Comment by Dave Rado on 09-06-2011

[QUOTE=BIGPOPPAPUMP;11090859]By Lyle Fitzsimmons - it seems decades ago that he met a foil considered anywhere near Adamek’s equal among the world’s pound-for-pound elite. [[URL=http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&id=43421]Click Here To Read More[/URL]][/QUOTE] People's obsession with the mythical and meaningless pound-for-pound rankings is hilarious. The…

Comment by hillbilly on 09-06-2011

[QUOTE=gingeralbino;11091399]he wants Vitali to lose I want to win the lottery. And i didnt buy a ticket. I rate our chances of being happy this weekend about equal[/QUOTE] Adamek looked bad against Grant and looked mediocre against Arreola. What is…

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (16)
Top Headlines Zac Dunn Stops Les Sherrington In Three, Eyes Title Shot Chilemba Vows To Not Leave Fate in Judges' Hands Versus Kovalev Ramirez's Trainer: Golovkin is Great Fighter, But He's Not a Machine Thurman Will Focus on Danny Garcia's WBC Belt After Porter Hearn: Brook vs. Vargas Possible, Peterson Still in The Running Frank Warren on Hughie Fury-Fred Kassi, Liverpool's Big Win Daily Bread Mailbag: Mayweather-Garcia, Golovkin-Canelo, More James DeGale is Eager To End The Callum Smith Hype Train Canelo's Coach Rejects Claim That Khan's Chin is Poor: It's a Myth! Victor Ortiz-Andre Berto II: Pre-Fight Report Card Lipinets: Me and Ortiz Went To War in Camp, He'll Beat Berto Donald Trump and Ted Cruz Now Battle Over - Mike Tyson Canelo's Coach: Golovkin Has Beaten Nobody, Lower Level Foes! Casimero Vows To Get Revenge on Amnat Ruenroeng on May 25 Dirrell Brothers, Jonathan Guzman Win Big In Atlantic City Orlando Salido Reacts To Francisco Vargas' Positive Drug Test Pano Tiatia, Other Dunkin Fighters Set For Action on Victory Card Beibut Shumenov Files Protest Against Dorticos-Kalenga WBA Clash Marquez Pleads With Canelo, De La Hoya To Make Golovkin Fight Povetkin: Wilder's 'Klitschko Tactics' Won't Work, Maybe He's Nervous Photos: Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto Try To Intimidate Each Other Photos/Weights: Pedro Campa vs. Jose Alfaro, More Hearn Explains Rift With DeGale, Situation With Haymon - Video Video: Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto Tense Face To Face at Weighin Lolenga Mock Outscores David Becarra Over Ten Rounds Callum Smith Hits Washington To Scout Badou Jack-Lucian Bute Fury Just Wants To Be Left Alone To Enjoy a Chicken Sandwich Francisco Vargas Granted Temporary License, Must Submit To Additional Testing Vasyl Lomachenko: Nicholas Walters Kept Making Excuses Rances Barthelemy-Mickey Bey Tops PBC on Spike, June 3 Photos: Badou Jack, James DeGale, Bute, Medina Ready To Fight Photos: Manny Pacquiao Hits The Campaign Trail in Senate Bid News: Marquis Moore; Orlando Del Valle; Dashon Johnson Video: Jack-Bute, DeGale-Medina Make Weight For Battle All Fighters Make Weight For Showtime Double In D.C. Khan: Beating Canelo Would Be Monumental For British Boxing DeGale: I Told Badou Jack 'You're Next, Green Belt is Coming To UK' Bellew vs. Makabu Title Clash Officially Unveiled Weights From London: Fury 231, Kassi 233 Carl Frampton Relinquishes IBF 122-Pound Crown
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement