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Weekend Review: Adamek’s big night

25
Oct

BIGGEST WINNER

Tomasz Adamek: THE RING cruiserweight champion’s goal is to fight one or both of the Klitschkos and earn the big money that goes with it. He took a nice step in that direction on Saturday in Lodz, Poland, knocking out former contender and fellow Pole Andrew Golota in the fifth round in his first full-fledged heavyweight fight. Adamek beat a big-name opponent who was 42 pounds heavier than he was, did it in front of 17,000 adoring fans in Poland, made a good payday and set himself up for bigger things. Not a bad night’s work. I don’t think he can beat either Klitschko because of his size but he probably wouldn’t do any worse than anyone else and might be tough enough to give them some trouble. And if he fails, he can always go back down to cruiserweight. The man is in a good position.

BIGGEST LOSER

Andrew Golota: Going into the Adamek fight, a lot of us wondered whether the Foul Pole’s size and punching power would be too much for his smaller countryman and we were a bit surprised that he was taken out in four-plus rounds. In retrospect, we probably should’ve seen this coming. Adamek is a terrific fighter and a very tough guy while Golota, at 41, is just another used up former contender hanging on in an attempt to cash in on his name. Golota certainly gave us numerous interesting moments in his long career. And he could probably continue to make a good living fighting in Poland. However, he said after the fight that he might call it quits. That might be a good idea.



BEST DECISION

Kelly Pavlik: Pavlik was wise to pull out of his Dec. 5 fight against Paul Williams because of ongoing complications from a staph infection that he said almost killed him. He would’ve been crazy to face a fighter of Williams’ caliber at less than 100 percent, as he did against Bernard Hopkins. I believe Hopkins would’ve won anyway because of his savvy and size but a completely healthy Pavlik would’ve given him a better fight. Pavlik should put boxing aside for the time being and allow himself time to heal completely before even stepping back into the gym. He’s only 27. He’ll have plenty of time to make his fortune and fulfill his destiny in boxing when he’s at his best. And, of course, his health is a lot more important than fortune and fame.

MOST FRUSTRATED

Paul Williams: Williams already had agreed to a postponement of his fight with Pavlik, which was originally scheduled for this month, because he knew how important it was to his career and wallet. Then, suddenly, it was off for good. He and his promoter, Dan Goossen, made the decision to keep the date rather than hope Pavlik is ready to go in January because there are no guarantees the problems wouldn’t resurface and he hasn’t fought since April. However, a new opponent — whether it’s Sergio Martinez, Sergei Dzindziruk or any other likely candidate — won’t produce the kind interest or payday Pavlik did. The best-case scenario for Williams might be this: He wins on Dec. 5 and then meets Pavlik in the spring, which would give the middleweight champ plenty of time to heal completely.

BEST OPTION

Williams vs. Martinez: I like the idea of Shane Mosley taking an enormous gamble by fighting Williams at some sort of catch weight but it won’t happen; it’s just not a good physical matchup for Mosley. In lieu of that, I like Williams-Sergio Martinez. The Spain-based Argentine is a well-schooled, aggressive guy who seems to have a degree of latent star power. I think he would be perceived as a legitimate threat and give Williams good fight, which probably would be entertaining. Also, Martinez deserves the shot after he was screwed out of a victory over Kermit Cintron in February. The remainder of other candidates floating about just don’t sound as interesting.

MOST FRUSTRATED II

Carlos Quintana: The former welterweight titleholder was originally scheduled to fight on a card in Puerto Rico this past Saturday but pulled out to fight Joshua Clottey on the undercard of the Paul Williams-Kelly Pavlik fight on Dec. 5. However, when Williams-Pavlik fell out, HBO removed Quintana-Clottey from the card too presumably because the promoter of Pavlik, Bob Arum, who also handles Clottey, was out of the picture. Quintana’s promoter, Lou DiBella, said the fighter was “beside himself.” “It’s not fair,” DiBella said. “He had nothing to do with Pavlik getting injured. So not only won’t he get paid for this Saturday, it looks like he also won’t get paid for fighting Clottey on Dec. 5. ÔǪ He has a family, so does Clottey. Where’s the respect for the fighters?”

BEST HOMECOMING

Kermit Cintron: The former welterweight titleholder had never fought in the place of his birth, Puerto Rico, until Saturday, when he stopped Juilano Ramos in five rounds in a junior middleweight fight. That’s two consecutive impressive victories since his controversial draw with Sergio Martinez, Cintron having outpointed then-unbeaten Alfredo Angulo in May. And, who knows, things might get even better very quickly. Cintron has been mentioned as a potential opponent for Williams. I don’t see Cintron beating Williams, a bigger man and a superior boxer, but Cintron has the power to hurt anyone. The two experienced markedly different results against Antonio Margarito, who twice stopped Cintron but was outpointed by Williams.

MOST-INTRIGUING MATCHUP

Arreola vs. Tua: Chris Arreola has agreed to fight on the undercard of Paul Williams vs. TBA, which could end up in Los Angeles. And the matchup that is most intriguing is Arreola vs. David Tua. HBO probably won’t chip in enough money to finance that fight but it sure is fun to think about. Two well-known, aggressive, big-punching heavyweights usually make for an exciting night. And it would be a good risk for both men. A victory by Arreola, which would seem likely, would do wonders for his confidence and give his reputation a boost after his one-sided setback against Vitali Klitschko last month. And Tua, making a comeback, could burst into the Top 10 with a victory. It would be win, win, win situation if the fight can be made.

BEST QUOTE

Adamek, after stopping Golota: “I will never forget this moment. Fighting in front of almost 17,000 fans against the guy who was the Polish legend and went through many great battles. After this fight, I’m sure I will have more of them. By beating Andrew Golota I wanted to make a statement about my power and wanted to show how good a heavyweight I can be. I got hit couple of times pretty hard, but I was never in danger. Looks like my iron chin will work for me also in the higher weight class.”

Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]