By Keith Idec
Tomasz Adamek’s trainer isn’t worried that the wildly popular Polish contender will try too hard to appease his huge home crowd by brawling with Vitali Klitschko on Saturday.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Adamek seemingly understands that he must box intelligently if he is to have any shot at taking the 6-7, 250-pound Klitschko’s WBC heavyweight crown at Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw, Poland.
“Tomasz is very disciplined,” Roger Bloodworth said. “He’s fought in Poland before. It’s not like it’s something new to him. He’s been under that pressure before. Of course, the crowd’s going to be larger, [and] sometimes when you’re in a fight and the crowd is large, it does affect somebody. But I don’t think it’s going to affect Tomasz.”
A capacity crowd of over 42,000 is expected to attend what’s considered one of the biggest sporting events in Poland’s history. Adamek’s biggest bout in Poland to date was his fifth-round TKO of the country’s infamous former heavyweight contender, Andrew Golota.
That bout, which marked Adamek’s heavyweight debut in October 2009, was held at Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland. That fight was sold out, too, but the crowd was around half the size of the mass promoters anticipate Saturday.
There was a time Adamek’s willingness to brawl would’ve worried Kathy Duva, whose Totowa, N.J.-based Main Events co-promotes Adamek (44-1, 28 KOs). But she has seen him mature during his seven performances at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., where large, rowdy pro-Adamek crowds have cheered him over the past 2½ years.
The Kearny, N.J., resident has boxed and moved his way to victories over much bigger men there and elsewhere, though none as awkward, strong and accomplished as Klitschko (42-2, 39 KOs).
“If anything, his only weakness in front of his own crowd was that they tended to egg him on and get him to get him to be a little reckless,” Duva said. “But that’s something that Roger’s been working on really hard over the last couple years. That’s been part of the preparation and what’s been so wonderful about having him in front of that big crowd over and over again, to get him to learn that you have to win the fight, not show off, not respond to the crowd wanting you to brawl.
“He knows and he has said it, ‘I know I’m not going to beat him if I go in and try to brawl with him. Obviously, that’s not what I’m going to do.’ But every time he lands a punch, boy, that place is going to go insane.”
HBO will broadcast the Klitschko-Adamek match live at 4:45 EDT. It’ll be replayed at 10:30 EDT, before another live telecast of a featherweight fight between Cuba’s Yuriorkis Gamboa (20-0, 16 KOs) and Mexico’s Daniel Ponce De Leon (41-3, 34 KOs) from Atlantic City.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, NJ., and BoxingScene.com.