Ring Ratings Update: Adamek debuts in heavyweight rankings
Tomasz Adamek may never realize his goal of becoming the heavyweight champion of the world but he’s well on his way to being recognized as one of the best fighters, pound for pound, in the sport.
Adamek’s hard-fought majority decision victory over Chris Arreola on Saturday earned the 33-year-old veteran a ranking among THE RING’s heavyweight contenders. It’s the third weight class in which the magazine has rated the New Jersey-based Pole.
While a victory over RING heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko seems unlikely, it’s certainly not inconceivable that Adamek will find himself ranked among the sport’s elite fighters if he continues his winning ways.
Consider Adamek’s accomplishments over the past five years:
* He won a vacant light heavyweight title and a RING ranking at 175 pounds with a stirring majority decision victory over Australia’s rugged Paul Briggs in front of 20,000 mostly Polish fans in Chicago in May of 2005.
* He defended that 175-pound belt twice, including a rematch victory over Briggs in which he had to get up from a first-round knockdown to score another thrilling majority decision in October of 2006.
* He lost his light heavyweight title via unanimous decision to Chad Dawson, who is currently ranked No. 8 in THE RING’s Pound-for-Pound ratings, in February of 2007, but not before dropping the still-undefeated ultra-talent. Following his only loss, Adamek immediately jumped to the cruiserweight division, where he earned a RING ranking by winning three consecutive bouts, including an eighth-round stoppage of former undisputed champ O’Neil Bell in April of 2008.
* He won THE RING’s vacant cruiserweight championship with a 12-round Fight-of-the-Year brawl with Steve Cunningham in December of 2008, and defended the title twice before jumping to the heavyweight division, where he scored a fifth-round stoppage of former contender Andrew Golota and a 12-round decision over 2004 U.S. Olympian Jason Estrada.
* He scored a 12-round majority decision over Arreola, a once-beaten former title challenger who THE RING-ranked No. 6 among heavyweights.
“Some members of THE RING Ratings Advisory Panel suggested ranking Tomasz Adamek at No. 6, as that is where Chris Arreola was rated prior to their fight,” said Nigel Collins, Editor-in-Chief of THE RING magazine. “However, it has been a long time since Ruslan Chagaev won a significant fight and Eddie Chambers’ recent effort against Wladimir Klitschko left a lot to be desired. On the other hand, Adamek’s showing against the larger, harder-hitting Arreola was impressive, so he has been rewarded for that performance with the No. 4 spot.”
Rated just above Adamek is 2004 Olympic champ Alexander Povetkin (No. 3) and brash British beltholder David Haye (No. 2). Showdowns with the aggressive volume-punching Povetkin or the athletic hard-hitting Haye, who is also a former cruiserweight champ, would make for fan-friendly fights, as Adamek’s tussle with Arreola was.
However, Adamek has always set his sights higher than putting on good fights. He wants to be the champ of his new division even though the 6-foot-7, 245-pound Klitschko, who is every bit the experienced athlete and technician that Adamek is, appears out of his league.
“I came to the U.S. to become world champion,” Adamek said before his first title bout against Briggs. “My faith in God will give me the mental and physical power to win this fight. I have had dreams of becoming world champion since I was 12.”
Adamek’s faith and his goal remain in his new weight class.
He may not achieve that goal but he should be recognized as one of the sport’s best for accomplishing as much as he has in reaching for it.
RING RATINGS UPDATE
Adamek (41-1, 27 knockouts) makes his heavyweight debut at No. 4, following his 12-round decision over Arreola (No. 6 last week), who falls to No. 10. Adamek’s arrival also results in demotions for Eddie Chambers, who slips from No. 4 to No. 5, Ruslan Chagaev, who falls from No. 5 to No. 6, and Tony Thompson (No. 10 last week) who exits.
Mikkel Kessler (No. 4 last week) and Carl Froch (No. 3 last week) trade places following Kessler’s close but unanimous decision victory over Froch in Denmark on Saturday.
Luis Concepcion’s fourth-round kayo of Eric Ortiz was enough to advance Concepcion (No. 8 last week) to No. 7, which pushes down Moruti Mthalane (No. 7 last week) to No. 8.