By Keith Idec
Dominick Guinn isn’t the only heavyweight who feels refreshed and ready to show Saturday night that he has something left.
His opponent, Tomasz Adamek, believes he has benefited from an ample amount of time between bouts as well. The popular Polish contender hasn’t fought since Dec. 22 in Bethlehem, Pa., where he recorded a questionable split-decision victory over Philadelphia’s Steve Cunningham in their 12-round rematch.
Adamek’s 7½-month break between fights marked his longest layoff since he didn’t fight for nearly a year, from October 2005-October 2006. At 36, the time away from the gym was welcomed, especially since he fought four times over a nine-month period in 2012.
“Last year was too busy,” said Adamek, who resides in Kearny, N.J. “[Trainer] Roger [Bloodworth] told me I was over 50 weeks in the gym [last year]. That’s impossible. I’m not 20 anymore. I’m 36 years old. I needed rest. But I came to the gym fresh and I’m ready for a comeback.”
Adamek (48-2, 29 KOs), a former cruiserweight and light heavyweight champion, was supposed to box Tony Grano on Saturday night. Grano withdrew from the fight 2½ weeks ago with a neck injury, though, and Guinn quickly agreed to replace Grano (20-3-1, 16 KOs), of Hebron, Conn., in a 10-round bout that’ll be broadcast by NBC Sports Network.
The 38-year-old Guinn (34-9-1, 23 KOs), a Houston resident, has lost three out of his last four fights. He hasn’t boxed since knocking out journeyman Stacy Frazier (15-13, 14 KOs) in the first round almost 14 months ago, but Guinn sparred against Adamek three years ago in Houston and is confident he can pull off an upset, even after accepting the fight on short notice.
Guinn seems committed to letting his hands go, and knows the problem has cost him earlier in his career. Adamek also said Guinn will see a different fighter than the one he sparred.
“He’s a tough fighter, not scared,” Adamek said. “But I was a different fighter, too, three years ago, when I looked at the tape. I was a runner. But now I’ve stopped running. I’m a different fighter right now.”
Adamek claims he wants to win “a couple fights” and earn another heavyweight title shot before retiring. He passed earlier this year on an IBF elimination match against Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev (17-0, 9 KOs), which could’ve moved him toward a shot at IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko (60-3, 51 KOs), but Adamek considered that fight a high-risk, low-reward proposition.
Nevertheless, Adamek said, “I’m ready for tough fights. I want to show my class and win. That’s my goal.”
The Adamek-Guinn fight will be one of three televised by NBC Sports Network, starting at 10:30 p.m.
The telecast will open with a 10-round cruiserweight fight that’ll pit Philadelphia’s Eddie Chambers (36-3, 18 KOs) against South African southpaw Thabiso Mchunu (13-1, 10 KOs). Brooklyn’s Curtis Stevens (24-3, 17 KOs) will meet Mexico’s Saul Roman (37-9, 31 KOs) in the main event, a 10-round fight for the NABF middleweight title.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.