By Tomasz Adamek
I had my fourth fight of the year. The fight with Steve Cunningham in Bethlehem went down in history. I won, but not to my or my fans satisfaction. My fans were not happy. The reporters mainly showed the negative side of the fight. I read articles where there was negativity but also a lot of praise based on my performance. The judges verdict was like a huge snowball, which rolled from the U.S. to Poland and got more comments on the internet. There was the opportunity to stick it to Adamek. And it doesn't matter here that that was my 50th fight in the ring. I won 48 and lost only 2. Only a few reporters wrote something about the fight that was worth reading.
I think there was reason for criticisim. After the fight there were many questions which I have to answer soon for myself and for my fans. How am I not supposed to answer these questions: Where is the Adamek from the fights with Briggs, Arreola or Banks? Which version of Adamek will be in the ring in 2013? If fight like I fought that night can I count on winning again?
First a few things about the fight. I gave Steve the responsibility to match the level of fighting. I didn't like that he was running away from in the fight and avoiding me in the ring. Everyone has a right to use his own tactics. Steve was avoiding open confrontation because he was scared of what happened in 2008. Unfortunatley we didn't give a good show because of it.
I didn't throw as many punches because I couldn't get to Steve. He was a moving target. Even when I had him in the corner I could not lock in a few good punches. I didn't repeat myself, I waited for a better chance. I tried to fight carefully and to save my energy for the following rounds. I realized my own tactic i.e. speeding things up at the end of each round. I got Steve a few times towards the end of each round but the gong didn't allow me to get more hits in. Steve also got me on a few situations when I was looking for a KO. Most of his hits are soft and don't do much to the opponent. It could be seen after the fight that my face was untouched. On the other hand his face showed the effects of my hits. Many of his hits I blocked with my gloves.
I had a strange feeling after the fight that I was not tired and still could go a few rounds. At the press conference someone reminded me that this is my fourth fight and to slow down, no one at heavyweight fights that much.
Knowing how time has flown and my age I want to find myself at the top of the rankings quickly. I did it, I won four fights this year but that could be the reason that I am not feeling tired. Who fought 50 times in the ring and accomplished as much as I ?
There is a virtual club of fighters who fought 50 times in the professional ring. Who in that club is still an active boxer? That's for the statisticians. Or maybe it doesn't count? I am writing this in response to those who were angry with my last fight. I don't want to be put down for what I achieved in boxing as a Polish representative. I am hoping for people to focus on what I have achieved in boxing. Every fight brings me closer to my goal . Even when it is far from the level that I am used to fighting at and which my fans are used to.
HBO's Harodl Lederman has been a point judge for years for the most important fights and then became an analyst on HBO. All of important fights on HBO are analyzed wuth the help of Lederman, not officially but only for the fans. He is very respected and his opinion is almost always pursued after in the community. When asked about the Adamek and Cunningham - he saw the fight as 115:113, in favor of Adamek - in other words 7-5 in rounds.
The judges chose the winner and Steve, as always, is feeling hurt. I brought the belt and the title IBF North American title to the ring with me. For Steve to win them, he had to do more in the ring than I did. It is an unspoken rule in the ring that the contender to the belt should know to do more in the ring than the current beltholder. He has to have a will to fight and show effective boxing. Steve fought well but showed everyone effective dancing in the ring. I had to catch up to him in that element. Steve is accostumed to criticizing judges in Poland, Germany and the U.S. That's the standard from him.
On this night he did not hit me hard enough to get me on the floor and he did not do anything special in the ring to take the belt from me. Today it is also hard to tell how much of an impact Judge Michael Buffer had by announcing the scorecards incorrectly. At first he announced a draw and then announced my win. In this situation suspicions started to arise and people start to look at my win differently. There were allegations of cheating and that the judges were not up to par. The judges came from three different cities in the U.S. to which no one had any objections.
After the fight Michael Buffer came to the locker room and apologized for the mixup that his announcment caused. I always adjust to the fighting style of my opponent and this time I will admit that fighting Cunningham at this pace I couldn't get to him. I eagerly utilized my technique and thanks to it I have won numerous fights. This time Steve showed to be the master at avoiding a fight. Utilizing such a tactic does not guarantee a win. Something has got to give. This time this great tactic for the big and slow Adamek was not effective.
I accept all forms of constructive criticisim and I promise to provide more emotional fights on my way to the belt. I know that after this fight I lost many of my fans who say it is the end of Adamek the warrior. Nothing like this will happen again and I promise I will try for a few more good matches and later I will clear the way for younger boxers from Poland. I hope they live up to what I have achieved and prove to be even better than me. Thank you to everyone for sending me holiday wishes.