Adamek-Grant Ringside Report (Includes Post Fight Press Conference Video Interview Footage)
by Geoffrey Ciani @ Ringside - Polish heavyweight Tomasz Adamek (42-1, 27 KOs) defeated Michael Grant (46-4, 34 KOs) by unanimous decision Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The final scorecards read 117-111, 118-110, and 118-111. Despite cries of disapproval from a minority faction in press row about the margin of victory, the scores seemed to accurately reflect what transpired inside the ring. Even with victory, however, it was a difficult fight for Adamek who failed to make a lasting impression with his performance.
Both fighters started somewhat tentatively in the opening round where it was apparent that Adamek was the quicker and more fluid fighter. He used good ring generalship and fast hands to control the action. Grant attempted to establish his jab by using his superior size and reach, but for the most part, Adamek was just too fast and elusive to get caught. Adamek tried working the body a bit in the first, but he was mostly targeting upstairs where he had good success with his left hook. At the end of the round, Grant appeared to stun Adamek with a right hand. The Polish pugilist grabbed on to Grant and seemingly tackled him as both fighters crashed to the canvas.
Adamek resumed being the more active boxer in round two and continued finding success with his left hook which rocked Grant on several occasions. Grant seemed to make a slight adjustment in the third and began blocking some of Adamek’s hooks, but some were still finding the mark. Adamek controlled the action with his work rate and movement. In round four, Adamek made a counter adjustment and was regularly landing the hook once again. For his part, Grant was attempting to cut off the ring and press forward but he was having limited success at best. In round five, Grant began blocking the hook again but he still was not active enough to make his presence felt.
Round six was more of the same with Adamek being the busier fighter. He continued landing with his left hook and using movement to befuddle his larger foe. Near the end of the round, however, Adamek planted his feet and threw a quick combination. In doing so, he left himself open and Grant landed a right hand bomb that hit flush on Adamek’s chin. The punch hurt Adamek who was noticeably wobbled after a slightly delayed reaction. By the time Grant realized how badly the punch stunned Adamek, it was too late. Grant moved in for the kill but the bell rang to end the round before he could properly follow up.
Adamek came out strong to start the seventh and began throwing some good short combinations. It was obvious he was trying to make a statement following the big right Grant landed the previous round, and Adamek seemed recuperated as he tagged Grant with a well timed left hook. Despite eating so many hooks, Grant took them fairly well. It was obvious that he was trying to lure Adamek in so he could inflict more damaging blows. Unfortunately for Grant, Adamek was too quick and too smart. This combined with the fact Grant was much slower prevented him from capitalizing on the momentum he built to end the first half of the contest.
The eighth was similar to the seventh. Adamek was using his footwork and his left hand to score. Grant was trying to cut the ring off while simultaneously attempting to lure Adamek inside. He had mixed success, and in round nine Adamek appeared to be tiring. This enabled Grant to mix it up a bit more and open up with his shots, but for the most part, Grant was still too slow and inactive to do much damage. Adamek was still landing the better blows in the tenth and he seemed to get his second wind. Strangely enough, neither fighter was committing much to the body.
In round eleven, Adamek finally started landing some nice right hands to go along with the hook. Both fighters appeared tired, but Adamek was still doing a little more. True to form, Adamek came out in the final round looking to close the show in style. In doing so, he he became careless and managed to get caught by another stiff right from Grant. Adamek was hurt once again, but his impeccable survival instincts saw him through the immediate danger. At this point Adamek seemed to regain his footing but he also looked exhausted. Fortunately for him, Grant was equally exhausted and was once again unable to follow through after having Adamek hurt.
It was a good win for Adamek, but it was not easy. If Adamek was looking to make an impressive statement, he failed. After all, Michael Grant is a 38 year old fighter whose best days were ten or more years ago. In his three previous losses, he had been stopped inside the distance. Adamek seemed unable to even hurt Grant despite cracking him well with left hooks throughout the contest. Had Adamek been able to stop Grant in impressive fashion, he would have done himself a great service. Demand for a fight against one of the brothers Klitschko would have risen. Instead, many are now left wondering whether Adamek has the power to seriously test the chin of either brother.
To his credit, Adamek has improved a great deal under the guidance of head trainer Roger Bloodworth who has now worked with Adamek for his last three fights. His style has become more fluid, and he really is developing into a much better overall boxer. The problem is, Adamek is not a true heavyweight. He is really just a blown-up cruiserweight whose tremendous heart and talent have enabled him to succeed thus far in the lackluster heavyweight landscape. His warrior mentality and humble personality is endearing to fans, but at the end of the day his physical limitations are his biggest downfall. If Adamek did make a statement today, it was more of a tactical statement, but this was not the type of performance that did much to raise his stock.
Although many observers viewed the fight with Grant as preparation for dealing with someone the size of a Klitschko, Adamek might be better suited setting his sights on WBA heavyweight champion David Haye. Like Adamek, Haye is a former cruiserweight champion with a crowd pleasing style. In fact, a fight between Haye and Adamek might well represent the most exciting fight that can be made in boxing’s most prestigious division. The question becomes, does David Haye really want to fight someone of Adamek’s caliber? That remains to be seen, for despite talking a big game, Haye has seemed reluctant to take on the best available challenges. If he steps up to the plate and fights Adamek, boxing fans should be in for a real treat.
POST FIGHT PRESS CONFERENCE INTERVIEWS
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Article posted on 22.08.2010
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