Following his tough, unanimous decision over Jason Estrada at the weekend, former IBF cruiser-weight and WBC light-heavyweight champion Tomasz Adamek (40-1, 27 ko´s) is now looking toward a summer clash with Mexican-American heavyweight contender Chris Arreola.
If that fight is made, and there could be an announcement as early as this week, it could be THE heavyweight fight of the year.
Adamek had already targeted an April 24th clash with Arreola prior to his bout with Estrada. Arreola has no fight scheduled, and would surely relish the chance to take on Adamek with his current high profile.
After this win, Adamek jumped to fourth on boxerec.com´s world rankings, behind only the Klitschko brothers and Britain’s own David Haye.
Adamek put in a solid, workmanlike performance against Estrada, the United States 2004 Olympic super-heavyweight representative. At a solid 220 lbs, Adamek kept a fast pace throughout the contest. Estrada (16-3, 4 ko´s) came in at 237lbs, 10 pounds down on his last fight. It reflected good preparation on his behalf, the weight drop allowing him to stay competitive late into the contest.
Estrada started brightly, but by the fourth the machine like Adamek was in control. He kept a fast pace, and mixed his combinations to Estrada´s head and body. Estrada came into the bout occasionally with big, flashy hooks, but his punch rate was far behind that of the Pole´s, and with just four career knockouts, Estrada´s punches were never going to trouble the iron chinned Adamek.
10,223 fans packed the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey for the match-up, mostly pro-Adamek Poles and Polish-Americans who were wildly supportive of their man throughout the fight. In his post fight press conference Adamek thanked his fans and spoke about the possible clash with Arreola.
“I would like to thank everybody for coming. I would also like to congratulate Jason Estrada for a terrific fight and allowing me to fight to prove I can be a world champion in three different weight categories. I have no doubt that this was the best Jason Estrada fight of his life. I watched all of his fights and this was the best prepared I saw him ever,”
Adamek continued; “I knew he was a tough fighter and I was punching to the body to make him slower. Most important for me was always my speed, so I am what I can to be as fast as I can so I can be ready for someone with a big punch like Chris Arreola. I think in order to beat me in the ring, you have to be faster. I proved this today that speed makes a difference and I want to prove it again against Chris Arreola.”
28 year old Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola will be a much tougher proposition for the 33 year old Adamek.
At 6´4´´, and weighing in excess of 250 lbs, Arreola will have all the physical advantages over the Pole. With 25 knockouts in 28 victories, he is a proven puncher who puts his weight into all his shots. His sole defeat came at the Los Angeles Staples Center last September against arguably the best heavyweight fighting today; Vitali Klitschko, in a challenge for Klitschko´s WBC heavyweight title.
Admittedly, Arreola was completely outclassed in that fight. Big as he is, he looked short and pudgy compared to the muscular, 6´8´´ Ukrainian. Klitschko likes to lean back and counter, and he loves an opponent who comes on to him. Arreola took a relentless pummeling for ten rounds before his corner pulled him out of the fight. Arreola had showed a great chin and immense courage throughout the contest. When the fight was over, he wept openly in the ring.
Arreola hasn’t let the loss to Klitschko derail his career. He was back in the ring just nine weeks later, and showed he is far from a spent force, stopping tough veteran Brian Minto in four rounds.
Dare I say it? The much maligned heavyweight division is entering something of a boom period, and is becoming interesting again. With the arrival of Adamek, the resurrection of David Tua and the coronation of David Haye, suddenly there is the possibility of a multitude of genuinely exciting heavyweight fights.
Adamek v Arreola will be a war. It will pit Adamek´s speed and skill against
Arreola´s bulk and power. Both men have proven courage to spare.
It should be a classic.
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