Two weight world champion and top heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek hits the comeback trail in Brooklyn on Saturday night.
”Goral” takes on dangerous former top-ten contender, Dominica’s Nagy Aguilera on the Zab Judah v Vernon Paris undercard at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday night. A former WBC light heavyweight and IBF cruiserweight champion, Adamek has been competing as a heavyweight since 2009, and fought his way up to WBC top contender status. Last September he was outclassed in ten rounds in a challenge for Vitali Klitschko’s WBC heavyweight title in his native Poland – his first defeat in four years. Nagy Aguilera is 1-3 in his last four fights, but the 6’3” 240 pounder hits extremely hard, as witnessed by his one round demolition of former WBC champ Oleg Maskaev in 2009.
Now 35, Adamek (44-2, 28 KOs) is currently only ranked in the top-ten by two of boxing’s governing bodies – rated 10th by both the IBF and WBC. Respected boxing websites like FIGHTNEWS.COM (5th), (4th) and the The Ring online (3rd) deservedly rank the Pole far higher, and it is ironic that Chris Arreola, who Adamek defeated in 2010 and was also thrashed by Vitali Klitschko is currently ranked top-five by the IBF and WBO and no.1 by the WBC.
At a shade under 6’2” and at a fighting weight of less than 220 lbs, Adamek is a small heavyweight by modern standards. Super fit and as tough as they come, he is an excellent ring technician who does nothing exceptionally, but everything to a solid standard. He has a typical Eastern European work ethic that has seen him overcome more talented but less disciplined fighters throughout his career.
He was unbeaten from 1999 to 2007, losing only to a peak Chad Dawson in 2007, a defeat that cost him his WBC light heavyweight crown. Undeterred, Adamek moved up to cruiser and became one of only three boxers to beat the man who has dominated the division for the past decade – American Steve Cunningham – via a twelve round decision to lift the IBF 201 lb title.
After just two defenses, Adamek made the final move up to heavyweight with a fifth round destruction of fellow Pole and former world title challenger Andrew Golota in 2009. It was the first of six-straight wins among the big boys for Adamek – the highlights being decisions over Arreola, Jason Estrada and Michael Grant. He rose to no.1 in the WBC rankings and faced 6’8”, 250 lb modern great Vitali Klitschko in Poland, but could not overcome the physical disadvantages, nor the counterpunching talent of Klitschko, and lost every round before the referee stopped it in the tenth.
Klitschko’s next title defense would be his points win over Britain’s Dereck Chisora last month. Team Adamek were in talks with Chisora the week after his infamous post-world title fight press conference brawl with David Haye. There was speculation as to a fight either in Poland or in New Jersey, where Adamek now lives and has a huge following. The subsequent indefinite suspension of Chisora by the WBC and the withdrawal of his boxing license ”for a few years” by the B.B.B.C may have put paid to that matchup, at least for the time being.
Just how much hunger and desire will Adamek have left on Saturday? 25 year old Nagy Aguilera (17-6, 12 KOs) proved against Oleg Maskaev in 2009 that he can make short work of big name fighters that face him unprepared. Maskaev was on the comeback trail himself after losing his title the year before, and after two wins was ranked no.2 by the WBC.
Boxing as if he were having a light sparring session, Maskaev was caught cold and felled by a huge left hook, and although he beat the count, Aguilera caught him with several more heavy shots that had him out on his feet after just 1:54 seconds of the round.
The win over Maskaev earned Aguilera an IBF heavyweight title eliminator against heavy hitting former WBC champ Sam Peter in 2010. The first round was close, but when the Nigerian opened up with some of his trademark sledge-hammer punches in round two it was all over.
After an easy one-round knockout over journeyman Roderick Willis, Aguilera dropped back-to-back decisions to veteran Maurice Harris and Antonio Tarver – who was making his heavyweight debut. Last May he had the misfortune to run into a Chris Arreola who has rediscovered his passion for boxing. Weighing in a trim (for him) 234 lbs, Arreola moved and punched with authority from the opening bell, yet Aguilera hung with him and looked in the fight for the first two rounds. The third saw both men exchanging on the ropes before Arreola cut loose with a barrage of heavy shots that forced the referee to intervene.
Last month Aguilera scored a third round TKO over serial loser Stacy Frazier. Still incredibly young for a heavyweight at just 25, one would hope that he will not be confined to the ranks of the journeyman so early in a once promising career.
Aguilar has the power to trouble any heavyweight he can hit, but Adamek is a sound defensive fighter with a great chin. He took Arreola’s best shots, and although floored in the sixth by Klitschko, he finished on his feet. Likewise, Adamek does not possess the power to put Aguilera away. The Dominican’s two stoppage losses were against legitimate bomb throwers in Peter and Arreola, and Adamek’s blows are nowhere near that league.
This looks like a distance fight and a solid workout for Adamek, who may have to absorb a few heavy shots along the way, but is just too skilled and too experienced for Aguilera.