By Przemek Garczarczyk
When you look at Tomasz Adamek (39-1, 27 KO) today, it’s hard to believe that this is the same guy who just three years ago was a light heavyweight WBC champion, bringing 175 pounds to the scale. Adamek version 2010 is a heavyweight contender, with 222 pounds of muscle and power. “And speed, don’t forget about my speed and precision!” – says still “The Ring” magazine cruiserweight champion, a Polish native who dreams that this year he could add another – heavyweight – belt to his New Jersey home. “Goral” Adamek prepares to fight Jason Estrada at Prudential Center on February 6 and speaks about his transformation.
How do you get from 175 to more than 220 pounds? Did you ever dream that you could potentially fight against Klitschko’s of the world?
Yes, I did. Even when I started boxing in Poland, I always wanted to be a heavyweight. People were laughing at me then, and to be honest, I stopped believing it will ever happen. Everything changed when I won my WBC title against Paul Briggs in 2005. I said to myself: everybody was telling me just months ago I will never fight in US, forget about America, it will never happen for you. And then I’m standing in the middle of ring in Chicago, with WBC belt in my hand. It happened, so why not heavyweight division now? Those were my first thoughts, honestly.
You lost your only professional fight almost exactly three years before your upcoming fight with Estrada, on February 3, 2007 against Chad Dawson. It was your last fight as a light heavyweight.
One too many, no doubt. It was a torture fighting at 175 and having a normal weight of 185-190 pounds. Even doctors warned me that I’m just slowly but surely killing myself. Basically, when they are comparing the blood tests and other health results from three years ago to today’s tests; I was fighting then being able to deliver maximum 60 percent of the potential. Because I had to loose between 15 and 20 pounds for every fight at 175, I was permanently tired, got all the possible bugs during the year – flu, headaches, you name it. But it was then the only way to show America I can fight, so I just went through it.
What did you change when you decided that enough is enough?
Nothing, absolutely nothing. No miracles, no funny business here. I just started to eat what I wanted, my wife Dorota, who is excellent cook, was preparing me all the good, healthy stuff and I was able to finish the meal not being hungry and thinking to myself that I could eat three times as much. I was never afraid I will just get fat, because I’m a gym rat – I love training, love to be in the best shape all the time, not only during day of the fight. Ten months after I fought Chad Dawson, I went for bunch of physiology tests. Everything was much better; some statistics even 40 percent better than before. Since then I felt better every month. Ask my sparring partners. I went through three of them during my recent 10-round training session, picking up speed until the last round. I will be ready for Jason Estrada and everybody who comes next.
What’s your opinion about the new debate to add a super heavyweight division to professional boxing?
Not sure it’s necessary. It works OK in Olympic competition, I know that potentially it should benefit me, being called “smaller” heavyweight, but this is professional boxing, no easy way up. And talking about me, people who use the word “small” are forgetting than I’m 6,3 and now around 222 pounds. It’s more than Ruslan Chagayev or David Haye when they became world champions and much more than for example Chris Byrd. Why not me?