By Przemek Garczarczyk
Photo: Mateusz Borek
“I’m back in the ring against Saleta for two reasons: to find out if I can later compete at the highest level, and to convince my fans that my last very disappointing and boring fight (with Artur Szpilka) was just an aberration. I don’t want to stay retired with people remembering that, losing without a fight. I want to bring some old Adamek excitement back,” said former two-division champion and heavyweight contender, Tomasz Adamek (49-4, 29 KO) who finished his training camp before facing 47-year-old Przemek Saleta (44-7, 22 KO) in main event for Polsat Boxing Night on September 26 in Poland.
Adamek, who spent seven weeks training at the Osada Śnieżka training camp in Lomnica, Poland, put together and coordinated by his longtime friend, leading Polish TV boxing analyst Mateusz Borek, could not have had better preparations. Seven sparring partners – including 31-1, 17 KO Mariusz Wach, who is getting ready to challenge Alexander Povetkin – at a fully professional camp with the best conditioning coaches, state of the art facilities and even a cryotherapy chamber. This would be good enough for a world championship fight and should physically prepare one of boxing’s most fearless warriors for Saleta.
And this is an obvious plan.
“Now is the time to verify my hard work. Let’s see, how this best camp of my life will help me be a very effective, fast and dynamic fighter – same as my fans in the US and Poland hopefully remember from years in the ring. I’m back in the ring for two reasons – to find out if I can later compete at the highest level, and to convince my fans, that my last very disappointing and boring fight (with Artur Szpilka) was just an aberration. I don’t want to stay retired with people remembering that, losing without a fight. I want to bring some old Adamek excitement back,” said Adamek, who is in Poland with his longtime trainer, Roger Bloodworth.
The former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion lost his last two heavyweight fights in 2014 – against now IBF #1 contender Slava Glazkov (20-0, 13 KO) in March and Artur Szpilka (20-1, 15 KO) in November. The same Szpilka, who after beating his countryman decided to follow his old nemesis’ route and now continue his career in US. Shortly after the Szpilka fight, Adamek, who since 2009, with his wife Dorota and two daughters Roksana and Weronika lives in Kearny (NJ), suggested that his time in the ring was over.
Why has he changed his mind?
“I was busy and happy with my family, with my business but was never a sitting in front of TV with a beer kind of guy. Then Mateusz (Borek) got this idea about putting together for me the best possible camp. Just to give me a chance to thoroughly test my body again, with all the state of the art equipment available in 2015. It piqued my interest because who doesn’t want to test himself? I said yes and dedicated myself completely to this project. No excuses. We’ll find out on September 26 where I am as a fighter. If I pass the Saleta test with flying colors – and only then – I’ll fight again. Why not?”
Most of the fighters don’t expect Saleta to be a real threat for Adamek. Both Andrzej Fonfara and Artur Szpilka, who know both fighters well, predict an easy, possibly by late stoppage, win for “Goral.” Mariusz Wach, who on November 4 in Kazan (Russia) will challenge #1 WBC ranked heavyweight Alexander Povetkin, was by far the toughest sparring challenge Adamek was facing in training camp. This is what Wach said in interview for Polish sports daily Przeglad Sportowy: “I spent 20 rounds with Adamek, going full speed with no mercy. He’s fast and has to beat Saleta. If not, Tomek should retire. Saleta, as we all know, will be ready. Both men have to be careful. I don’t want to name a favorite – both guys are my buddies.”