Roger Bloodworth: ďAdamekís a very good student, heís very smart, and he doesnít argue with the truthĒ
Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani - I was recently afforded the opportunity to have a nice discussion with highly regarded and well respected boxing trainer Roger Bloodworth, who is currently preparing heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek (45-2, 28 KOs) for a match-up against fellow heavyweight contender ďFastĒ Eddie Chambers (36-2, 18 KOs) on June 16 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Bloodworth spoke about the upcoming contest, talked about his working relationship with Adamek, and gave his views on Chambers as a fighter. He also spoke about the upcoming mega-fight this weekend between Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) and Timothy Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs), and whether he thinks a Pacquiao victory would bring us any closer to a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. Here is a complete transcript from that interview:
Article posted on 07.06.2012
GEOFFREY CIANI: Hello everyone. This is Geoffrey Ciani from East Side Boxing and I am joined by world class trainer Roger Bloodworth. Howís everything going today, Roger?
ROGER BLOODWORTH: Everything is going good.
CIANI: Good! Good to hear. Well Roger your fighter Tomasz Adamek has a big fight coming up against Eddie Chambers on June 16. I was wondering if you could tell the fans out there what you think of Chambers as a fighteróhis strengths, his weaknesses, and the overall package?
BLOODWORTH: Well you know Eddieís a fast fighter, a good boxer, not a big puncher but heís beaten a lot of people with skill and with quickness.
***CLICK PLAYER TO LISTEN TO ROGER BLOODWORTH
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CIANI: Now in a way what you just described there sounds a lot like what would people would say about Tomasz himself. In terms of speed, how do you think Adamek is going to match-up with Chambers?
BLOODWORTH: I think thatís something that weíre going to have to wait and see. A lot of people think Iím kidding when I say this, but since Tomasz has put on a little weight heís gotten quicker and stronger. So I think thereís no way to judge speed until you put them both in the ring.
CIANI: How has Tomasz been looking in training camp in your view?
BLOODWORTH: Heís been looking very good. Very good! Heís in good shape, probably better than he was for his last fight. Sparring has been good. We got no problems, no pains, no bumps, no bruises, so heís been looking good.
CIANI: Now you mentioned his last fight there against Nagy Aguilera. He had a little bit of difficulty early in that fight. How would you evaluate his performance in that one?
BLOODWORTH: Well Iím really not sure what you mean by he had trouble early in the fight. If you could explain it to me Iíll respond to it.
CIANI: Well Aguilera had some better moments in the fight than people were anticipating he would early on.
BLOODWORTH: Oh! Okay. I understand what youíre saying now. Yeah thatís true. We prepared for a fighter that would box as he normally does in most of his fights. But in most of his fights he came in overweight and not fully trained. I told Tomasz when he came in at 226 and a half, which is probably one of the lightest weights he came in, that he was prepared, he was in shape, and he came to win! So he became an attacking fighter, and I think he caught Tomasz with one or two right hands. It was nothing that really hurt him, but still, Tomasz had to adjust for a different style than we had prepared for, and I thought he did a great job with that. He started using the jab. I forget how many jabs he landed, but he landed I think two or three times the amount of jabs that most heavyweights land. He caught Nagy with some good power shots. He caught him with a nice check hook in the fourth round that had it been earlier the fight might have ended, but you know thatís the way it is. I was glad it didnít! I was glad he got the twelve rounds of work. So I thought his performance in the fight was an ďAĒ, with an ďA+Ē being a knockout. So I just gave him an ďAĒ.
CIANI: Now in that fight he was of course coming off of his championship losing effort against Vitali Klitschko. A lot of people after the Klitschko fight were suggesting that perhaps Tomasz should move back down to cruiserweight, and Iím wondering if that was something that ever crossed your mind, and whether in your opinion you even think Tomasz could go back down to cruiserweight even if he wanted to at this point?
BLOODWORTH: I think it would be a disaster for him. For one thing we took some time off after the Klitschko fight, and if you remember before the Klitschko fight he was fighting about once every three months. After he moved up from cruiserweight he basically stayed a cruiserweight because your body has certain set points. When you give it a little time off, I think we took off about three or four months before we started working again. We started working at my house, working on technique. Nothing really hard, we were just working on technique and things like that. He actually started growing! He started getting bigger and putting on more weight, but he hasnít put on any fat. So he walks around now between 225 and 230. I imagine heíll probably come into the fight around maybe the same thing he did for the last fight, around 222ósomewhere between 220 and 225. I donít really set any weights. Itís just whatever he comes in at, thatís what he comes in at. But he did put on muscle, his frame looks bigger now, and he looks taller! I donít know why! But to me, working mitts with him and everything he seems quicker, heís faster with his combinations, so I think it did him a lot of good.
CIANI: Now Roger youíve been working, if Iím not mistaken, with Tomasz since around the time of the Estrada fight. Iím wondering if you could tell us from your perspective as a trainer what kind of a student Tomasz is and how you think he has improved since that time when you first paired off together?
BLOODWORTH: Well youíre right. I started working with him the day after Christmas before the Estrada fight, which I think took place in February. I had another fight. I was committed to another fight then. I had to leave before the fight actually took place, but I think heís improved tremendously. At that time he had a hard time understanding moving to the left. He wanted to move to the right. You know he was a very European style. He had a good jab but he didnít really use it that much, and he didnít really understand how to use it. I think heís become much more adroit at being able to use his jab, being able to control the ring, to use his movement for a purpose rather than just to be moving. His defense seems to have gotten better. I think heís really improved a lot! Adamekís a very good student, heís very smart, and he doesnít argue with the truth.
CIANI: Now Roger in your training career youíve had three signature heavyweight contenders that youíve worked with, and all of them have had a different set of skills, a different set of natural tools, and different talents altogether. And of course Iím referring to Andrew Golota, David Tua, and Tomasz. When you look at those three heavyweights with such vastly different tools and approaches, as a trainer what kind of challenges does that provide for you training heavyweights that are that different from one another?
BLOODWORTH: (laughs) Well thatís the challengeótraining heavyweights that are that different from one another. You have to take what they do and improve on it. You canít make each one of them fight the same way. It doesnít work. Two of them are tall, one of them is short, and one of them punches extremely hard. So you have to take what they can do and try and improve on it. Thatís what a trainer does.
CIANI: Now when you first took over the reins for Tomasz, did you think that maybe with guys like the Klitschkos out there that he would be at a disadvantage going into such a fight given the fact he was coming up from light heavyweight?
BLOODWORTH: Not so much because of the fact that he was coming up from light heavyweight, it was that he really didnít have the skill-set at that time to compete with them. You know Iíve said this before. I really didnít want the fight with the Klitschkos at the time that we got it, but people have to remember this is a business and sometimes you have to do what you have to do, because if we had waited another year that fight might now have been there for him. So having said that, I thought Vitali fought one of the best fights of his career and Tomasz probably fought one of the worst fights of his career. We made some mistakes in that. We went over there too late and I donít think he fully acclimated. I mean when have you ever seen Tomasz stand in one place? Almost never since Iíve been with him, and he just had nothing in that fight. That was not Tomasz! Now having said that, has he progressed to the point where he can compete with them again? I think heís getting there, but he needs a few more fights.
CIANI: Now one of the things, there have been some rumors circulating around. I donít know if there is any truth to them, but according to some information thatís come out of the Polish press, if Tomasz can get by Chambers thereís a possibility that he might be taking on Alexander Povetkin in Poland. If that were to play out that way and Adamek were to get that chance to win a heavyweight crown again against Povetkin, how do you feel about that match-up as his trainer?
BLOODWORTH: Well first of all Iíve read the same rumors. So as far as Iím concerned theyíre just rumors and Iím now worried about that fight at this point. At this point Iím only worried about the next fight. We have to get by Chambers who I think is a very good opponent. Having said that if we get by Chambers, then we have to sit down and see, and talk about the business of the fight. You know, whoís going to be in charge, whereís the fight going to be, etc, etc, and see if it makes sense. If it makes sense it could happen, but thatís something in the future and thatís something, I mean to be honest with you, I havenít really given too much thought to.
CIANI: Fair enough! I understand. Now with this fight coming up in just a week and a half, what do you think the fans can expect when Tomasz Adamek squares off against ďFastĒ Eddie Chambers?
BLOODWORTH: Oh! I think theyíre going to get a hell of a fight. I mean ďFast EddieĒ, he has that name for a reason. Heís fast! How fast he is? Weíre going to find out! How fast Tomasz is? Weíre going to find out! Who has the most heart? Weíre going to find out! Who can land the most punches? Weíre going to find out! Thatís why they call it a fight. I think itís going to be an exciting fight. I know Eddie Chambers is going to come to fight and I know Tomasz is coming to fight! So I think thatís why people are excited about this fight, and you know Iím really looking forward to it. Iíve heard some people say this is a must win fight for both people. I donít know if I agree with that. I think this is a must have fight for boxing. People like Eddie and people like Tomasz who are in the positions they are have to start fighting each other, and I think this is the first step in bringing boxing back to what it should be.
CIANI: Changing things up here a tiny bit Roger, this weekend of course, the weekend before the Adamek fight, Manny Pacquiao is squaring off against Timothy Bradley and I was wondering if you could give us your trainerís perspective on that match-up?
BLOODWORTH: I think itís going to be a good match-up. Iíve heard some people say Bradley doesnít have a chin because he got knocked down a few times. Well the guy who knocked him down had a hell of a punch, but he still got back up and won the fight. Just watching him on TV and taking a look in his eyes in the lead-up to the fight, I think heís coming to fight. Manny didnít look good in his last fight. I thought he lost the fight, but Juan Manuel Marquez has the style that gives Manny trouble. I think Mannyís a great fighter, but I actually thought he lost two of the three fights to Marquez. Thatís my opinion, especially the last one. Having said that, if Mannyís in great shape and his opponentís in great shape, I think the boxing world is in for two great fighting weekends! I canít wait for this fight! I think itís going to be really something.
CIANI: Now a lot of fans are still speculating. Itís the fight that theyíve been talking about for years now. If Pacquiao wins do you think we might be a step closer to him having a showdown against Floyd Mayweather Junior?
BLOODOWROTH: To be perfectly honest with you, and Iím being perfectly candidóIím not sure that he wants to fight Floyd! You know Iím just not sure that he really wants to. I mean Floyd has said what he wants. Pacquiao has made some problems. Supposedly all they have to do is agree upon the purse. I thought Top Rank came up with the perfect solutionóthey both get 45%, the winner gets the extra 10%. I see no reason why Pacquiao wouldnít sign the papers. Do I think Floyd would sign the papers? In a heartbeat! So I think it all comes down to where Manny Pacquiao thinks he is in his career and if he really wants the fight. If he really thinks heís the best I think he would take the fight under those conditions.
CIANI: Roger, for my final question is there anything you would like to say to all the boxing fans out there and the readers of East Side Boxing?
BLOODWORTH: Donít miss the next two weekends! Theyíre going to be good boxing weekends for the fans.
CIANI: Well Roger, I want to thank you for your time. It was a great pleasure speaking with you again. I want to wish you and Tomasz the best of luck in your fight coming up against ďFastĒ Eddie Chambers. And I hope you, too, enjoy the two fight weekends coming up here.
BLOODWORTH: Oh I will! No doubt! Maybe one more than the other, but Iíll be a fan one weekend and a participant the second one. I canít wait!
CIANI: Great! Neither can I Roger. Thank you again very much. I appreciate your time.
BLOODWORTH: My pleasure.
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