Monday, November 28, 2022  |


Arreola: Adamek not legit heavyweight


Chris Arreola says he has respect for Tomasz Adamek, a former titleholder in two weight divisions, but contradicts himself.

On one hand, he admires the accomplishments of his opponent on April 24 in Ontario, Calif. On the other, he described the smaller man as a blown up cruiserweight and even suggested he needed foreign substances to bulk up.

Arreola also said he believes the typically aggressive Pole will run in this fight because of Arreola’s size advantage.

“I consider him a cruiserweight that doesn’t have to cut down (in weight),” Arreola said on a conference call. “He’s a medicated heavyweight. I have a lot of respect for him as a fighter. You always have to go in with respect for your opponent.

“Is he a full-blown heavyweight? I don’t believe he is. I think after this he’ll have to go back to cruiserweight and get his titles back.”

Kathy Duva, Adamek’s promoter, immediately questioned Arreola on the word “medicated,” suggesting he was treading on thin legal ice. A defensive Arreola initially cited his first-amendment rights but, obviously aware that he was looking for trouble, backed off the comment by saying he was misunderstood.

“I didn’t mean he was taking steroids,” Arreola said. “Get that out of your mind. You can take protein, gluten, everything over the counter. Just because I said drugs doesn’t mean steroids.”

Adamek wouldn’t even respond to Arreola’s comment on performance-enhancers – “I’m not even going to go to it,” he said through a translator — but he did speak to the assertion that he doesn’t belong in the heavyweight division.

Adamek, facing his third heavyweight opponent, is 6-foot-1¾ (187cm) and weighed 220¾ (100kg). Arreola weighed 263 (119kg) when he fought Brian Minto in December, although he said he’ll weigh in the high 230s for Saturday’s fight.

“The light heavyweight (division) was a nightmare,” he said. “I had to lose 15-20 pounds every time. Basically I was exhausted all the time. I couldn’t wait to get out of the light heavyweight division and start doing something at cruiserweight. I decided to fight the best from the beginning. I fought (Steve) Cunningham. He was considered the best; he was No. 1 ranked by THE RING. I beat him. ÔǪ

“Now the next step is heavyweight. This is what I wanted. It’s my natural progression. I’ve believed that from the beginning. I realize how tough Chris Arreola is. It’s something which gives me additional motivation. The tougher it goes, the better I am.”

High 230s? Boxing fans will believe Arreola will weigh in the high 230s when they see it, although it should be pointed out that he weighed 239 for a fight (against Chazz Witherspoon) as recently as 2008.

Arreola, who has battled weight issues, said he and strength and conditioning coach Darryl Hudson have taken his fitness to a new level.

“Darryl and (trainer) Henry (Ramirez) staying on my ass is one thing I appreciate a lot,” he said. “ÔǪ Everything is a lot easier than it used to be. ÔǪ The main thing is being in good boxing shape, being able to go 12 rounds. The weight is just coming off, though.”

Arreola, perhaps overly enthusiastic because he feels so good, went so far as to say that his knockout loss to Vitali Klitschko in September might’ve turned out differently if he had been farther along in his conditioning routine.

“The only thing I did wrong in that fight, honestly, is not getting strength and conditioning,” he said. “If I had Darryl for two fights before that, that fight should’ve and would’ve been mine.”

Well, we should at least admire his confidence.

Strength in faith: Adamek has dedicated the fight to fellow Poles who lost their lives in the plane crash Saturday in Russia, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski.

“This is a tragedy which has never happened in the history of the world,” Adamek said. “Basically, we lost all the political elites of Poland, the president, the first lady. There’s a big void. How these people will be replaced I have no idea. ÔǪ

“Today, I see the coffin of the president and ÔǪ a line about five miles long to see it. Everyone feels grief, everyone is touched by this.”

So how is Adamek able to focus on the fight?

“I’m strong because of my faith,” he said. “I understand what happened. I am grieving. I can also separate my personal feelings and draw from my religious experienced not to be influenced by this (in the fight).”