By Francisco Salazar
Despite being hit with hard right hands or left hooks by Chris Arreola on Saturday night, Tomasz Adamek feels that he has a heavyweight chin. He also thinks that he can be a major player in the heavyweight division. Adamek won a 12 round majority decision at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, in a bout that thrilled the 6,256 in attendance and those who watched on HBO. Despite being outweighed by over 33 pounds and fighting in Arreola’s backyard, Adamek did enough to win on two judges’ scorecards, while the third judge scored the fight a draw.
His bout against Arreola was Adamek’s third bout in the heavyweight division. Adamek won convincingly over Andrew Golota and most recently, Jason Estrada. For those who felt that Adamek would not withstand Arreola’s punches or was too small to fight in the division were proved wrong by Adamek.
“I walk around naturally at 220 pounds,” said Adamek after the fight, sporting some swelling over his right eye. I prepared well for eight weeks. My condition was good. Chris (Arreola) is a tough guy and a good boxer.”
Kathy Duva, head of Main Events and Adamek’s promoter, was confident that her fighter was going to be victorious on the west coast after Adamek had fought several times in New Jersey.
“This fight lived up to the hype tonight. We knew that Tomasz had a Heavyweight heart and chin. It was a good fight for us.”
As always, Dan Goossen, Arreola’s promoter, was diplomatic with his words. He hopes for a rematch between Arreola and Adamek, but Duva was quick to point out that any rematch, if there is one, would be held in New Jersey, where Main Events is based out of.
Nonetheless, Goossen pointed to Arreola’s performance and is confident that his fighter will come back strong.
“The fight was great. Both of them fought a great fight. It was a close fight, other than the one score (117-111). Arreola is always game to try and win. I’m confident that Chris will go back to the gym, work hard, and come back stronger.”
Arreola is never one to be shy with his words. He congratulated Adamek on his victory and even acknowledged the Polish fight fans in attendance.
However, he hopes for a rematch against Adamek and is willing to go to New Jersey or even Adamak’s native Poland.
“Adamek’s a great fighter. He has a big heart. He came in with the right game plan. You just have to bow your head and congratulate him.”
“I felt that I was hurting him with the jab. That’s how I hurt my left hand in the fifth round. I hurt my right hand in the 11th round. I just have to go back to the gym to retool. I hate losing this way. I don’t know what that judge was looking at. His game plan it seemed was to run away from me. I was trying to make the fight. I hate chasing.”
Despite fighting near Arreola’s hometown of Riverside, Adamek still did not feel the need that he had to score at least a knockdown in the fight.
“I’m coming to win the fight. Never by knockout. A boxer does not prepare that way. I prepared for 12 rounds for this fight.”
Although Adamek gave a good account of himself, one could wonder what would have happened if Arreola did not hurt either hand. Could Arreola have landed a punishing blow that could have changed the face of the fight. Would it have prevented Adamek from finishing strong? Or was Adamek just the better boxer on Saturday night?
“I could have had this fight,” said Arreola, with sunglasses on to cover the swelling he sustained in the fight. “Once I hurt my hand, the game plan was out the door. I was hurting him with my jab alone. I’m just hurt by the way I lost.”
Alfredo Angulo did crack a smile after his 11th round knockout victory over Joel Julio. One actually had to look closely to see it.
After Angulo pressed the action in the first two rounds, Julio outboxed Angulo during certain points in the fight. Julio would move side to side, landing combinations to the head of Angulo. However, Angulo slowly broke down Julio, eventually stopping him with a monstrous right hand to the head, ending matters in the 11th round.
Afterwards, Angulo addressed the difference in facing a hard-hitting boxer in Julio with Kermit Cintron, whom he lost to last May.
“Tonight, you could see the difference with my fight against Julio and my fight against Cintron. I was able to adapt because I was at 100%. Everyone knows I was sick during the Cintron fight. As such, I’m not making any excuses. Cintron was the winner and deserved to have his hand raised.”
“Tonight, I expected this type of fight from Julio. My goal was to fight in close. To me, that’s the natural form of fighting.”
Julio was visibly upset in the ring after the fight. He felt that referee Raul Caiz, Sr. stopped the fight prematurely, as he felt he was able to continue.
He was all smiles after the fight, even smiling when he and Angulo embraced.
“I left my heart and my will in the ring. Angulo is a great fighter, but I could have continued. I thought I was winning the fight, but that’s boxing. I still have a lot to offer in boxing. I will come back strong.”
Gary Shaw, Angulo’s promoter, stated that he thinks Angulo will be Mexico’s next boxing star. With Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera at the end of their careers, Shaw thinks that Angulo has the talent and star power to be popular with Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.
Angulo already has a strong fan base in Southern California, where he now resides. Shaw hopes for more fights for Angulo in Southern California, even fighting big name fighters down the road.
“I think there is a void in boxing in Mexico. People thought that (Antonio) Margarito was going to be Mexico’s next superstar. I truly believe Angulo is the next big Mexican star. He is a true Mexican boxer.”
When asked about whom Angulo would fight next, Shaw made very attractive suggestions.
“If (Miguel) Cotto wins his bout against Yuri Foreman, then we can try to set up something there. Maybe even a fight against Margarito, if he wins next month.”
During the post-fight press conference, as both fighters were taking questions, Heavyweight contender Tony Thompson, who was in the crowd of reporters, asked Adamek, “How would you like to fight the most avoided man in the Heavyweight division?”
Adamek did not respond, but Arreola was quick to let out a sarcastic laugh. Dan Goossen offered a contract for a bout to be signed between Thompson and Adamek, to which Kathy Duva stated, “Only if the fight is in Newark (New Jersey).”
Kathy Duva told Fightnews.com that HBO wants Adamek to fight on the network in the fall.
“Who he will fight, we’ll see. It could be anybody. To draw a crowd, we can go back to Newark.”