By Keith Idec
BETHLEHEM, Pa. — On the same night the man who stunted Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov’s growth got knocked out in the first round, Glazkov gave reasons to believe he still might reach his heavyweight potential.
Kathy Duva, whose company, Main Events, promotes Glazkov, believes the skilled Ukrainian contender joined the heavyweight division’s “elite” by dominating Tomasz Adamek on Saturday night in their televised 12-round fight at Sands Event Center.
“[Glazkov] emerged,” Duva said, “and did absolutely everything he had to do to win a fight against a very tough, very accomplished opponent, a guy who was a legitimate top heavyweight for the past [several] years. I think he announced his arrival [Saturday night] and made it clear to everyone that he belongs in the top five in the division. He’s going to be at the top of the heavyweight division for a very long time. His defense is absolutely amazing. His offense, he showed [Saturday night], is incredible. He just kept coming.”
The 30-year-old Glazkov looked like a different fighter from the confused, ill-prepared boxer that struggled a year ago during a 10-round draw with Philadelphia’s Malik Scott (36-2-1, 13 KOs), who was knocked out by Deontay Wilder (31-0, 31 KOs) in the first round Saturday night. It helped, too, that the ever-game Adamek was willing to stand and trade with Glazkov, who created severe swelling under Adamek’s right eye by the second round and dominated much of the action with his jarring jab, accurate overhand right and crisp counter lefts.
The 6-foot-3, 218-pound Glazkov, who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, considers the Scott setback vital to helping him become the type of fighter capable of dominating Adamek the way he did.
“I’m very glad the bout with Malik Scott happened in my career,” Glazkov said. “I learned a lot. I think preparation for the Malik Scott bout wasn’t as we expected it to be. I was tied up very much. And, of course, Malik Scott is a very different fighter from Tomasz Adamek. [Scott] was running. But we learned a lot from the fight with Malik Scott. Me and my trainer worked on it and got some results.”
His win against Adamek earned Glazkov the No. 2 spot in the IBF’s heavyweight rankings. Wladimir Klitschko (61-3, 51 KOs), the IBF heavyweight champion, already is obligated to face the IBF’s No. 1 contender, Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev (19-0, 10 KOs), if he defeats Australia’s Alex Leapai (30-4-2, 24 KOs) on April 26 in Oberhausen, Germany.
Glazkov could eventually be ordered to fight another contender to earn the No. 1 spot in the IBF rankings. Regardless, Duva is excited about what awaits him now that he has a signature victory over Adamek (49-3, 29 KOs) on his record.
“I think he proved that he belongs in the elite,” Duva said. “He’s only got  fights. That was pretty amazing for a guy who has such limited experience.”
Adamek, meanwhile, is contemplating retirement. The former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion from Poland, who was stopped by Vitali Klitschko in the 10th round of their WBC heavyweight title fight 2½ years ago, is 37 and appeared much slower Saturday night than he has in previous fights.
“I really don’t know what he’s going to do,” Duva said. “He got dominated. It’s like he just got old. He was in with a younger, stronger, faster guy. It’s amazing because Glazkov did everything he had to do to win and Tomasz just kept coming. At the end of the day, you just have to have so much respect for Adamek.”
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.