Newly-crowned IBF Cruiserweight Champion Tomasz “Goral” Adamek of Jersey City and Golwice, Poland returns to Newark’s Prudential Center on Friday, February 27th to make the first defense of his world title against Detroit’s undefeated Johnathon Banks when Main Events and Ziggy Promotions, in association with K2 Promotions, bring boxing back to “The Rock.” The inaugural event of Main Events’ “Brick City Boxing Series” at the Prudential Center also will be aired on Showtime as part of its ShoBox boxing series.
Just a month ago, Adamek (36-1, 24 KO’s) thrilled thousands of cheering fans as he electrified Newark’s state-of-the art arena, scoring three knockdowns over defending champion Steve Cunningham, to earn a blistering 12-round win in a fight that many boxing scribes have dubbed “The Fight of the Year.” Also the former WBC Light Heavyweight Champion, Adamek is no stranger to “Fight of the Year” consideration. Making his first-ever US appearance, the former Polish national amateur standout traveled to Chicago in May of 2005 and defeated Number One Contender Paul Briggs in a brutal 12-round slugfest hailed as a candidate for “Fight of the Year” honors.
Rated number 8 in the world by the IBF and number 1 by WBO, Banks (20-0, 14 KO’s) is a product of Detroit’s famed Kronk Gym, where he is managed by Motor City boxing legend, Emmanuel Steward. A Hall of Fame trainer/manager/color commentator, Steward has helmed the careers of numerous notable world champions, including Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns, former Heavyweight Champions Michael Moorer and Lennox Lewis and current World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko, to name a few. Banks has had the benefit of training side by side with Lewis and Klitschko throughout his career and is associated with the Klitschko brothers’ promotional arm, K2.
Noted Boxing writer Tim Smith said of the Adamek – Cunningham battle , “Fight Of The Year: My pick is Tomasz Adamek – Steve Cunningham for the IBF Cruiserweight title….I saw it live at the Prudential Center in Newark….(The fans) were treated to a rousing display of courage and guts. Adamek had Cunningham on the canvas three times in the fight, and twice he had him down and hurt. But Cunningham kept bouncing back up and firing at Adamek, who has a granite chin….How either man stayed upright for 12 rounds is beyond me.”
“Sometimes, when a fighter with an exciting style, like Tomasz Adamek, gets the chance to perform in front of a huge, enthusiastic crowd of supporters, the level of excitement rises to the point where magic happens,” said promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events. “Tomasz’ appearance at the Prudential Center last month was one of the most exhilarating nights of boxing that I have experienced in a long time. I can’t wait to get back there on February 27th to watch Tomasz make the magic happen again with Johnathon Banks. I have no doubt that everyone who was lucky enough to be there in person last month feels the same way.”
“We are looking forward to this fight for Johnathon,” said Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions. “Adamek is considered the #1 Cruiserweight in the world, but Emanuel has been working with Banks his entire career to get him ready for a fight like this. Johnathon has sparred numerous rounds with Wladimir over the last few years, and he hits a lot harder than Adamek. It is a tough fight, but we believe that Banks will beat Adamek to become champion and join Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko as Champions for K2 Promotions.”
“Boxing is back in Brick City and Prudential Center is proud to usher in a new era of championship fighting with Main Events”, said Brian Gale, director of marketing and booking at the arena. “We are excited to welcome back Adamek and hope to give boxing fans quality fights for years to come at Prudential Center.”
An exciting seven-bout undercard featuring local fan favorites is being finalized and will be announced shortly. The first bout starts at 8:30 p.m. and doors open at 8 p.m.
Tickets go on sale Thursday, January 29 at noon. Priced at $38, $53, $78, $103, and $253, tickets can be purchased at the arena box office or by calling Ticketmaster at 201-507-8900.