By Przemek Garczarczyk
Photos: Wojtek Kubik
Tomasz Adamek (47-2, 29 KO) will face old nemesis Steve Cunningham (25-4, 12 KO) on December 22 at the Sands Casino-Resort in Bethlehem, PA (broadcast by NBC). Adamek just finished his media day in Jersey City and Fightnews.com had an opportunity to speak with “Goral” trainer Roger Bloodworth. The universally respected coach talks about what to expect from this fight, why he expects Cunningham to treat this is fight as a personal affair and what being on NBC could mean for the sport of boxing in America.
The card is presented by Main Events and Ziggy Promotions in association with Peltz Boxing and DiBella Entertainment.
If you read some of the press opinions, this fight is already over and done. Adamek has already won and Steve lost although fight did not even happen…
Roger Bloodworth: Laughable, isn’t? Unless Tomek is fighting you, we have great fight on our hands in Bethlehem. Adamek will fight Cunningham with a very good trainer in his corner, will fight a former cruiserweight world champion, who decided to test his skills as a heavyweight. Maybe this is the best decision in his life? Maybe those knockouts in the cruiserweight division were part of losing too many pounds? Nobody knows what the truth is. Ask me for a more educated opinion on December 22.
Cunningham shouldn’t draw any conclusions from his first encounter with Adamek, like you and Adamek shouldn’t look too seriously at Steve’s first hurrah as a heavyweight?
Just about right. If Cunningham thinks that he will able to do the same things he did against Adamek four years ago, he will have a very unpleasant surprise. Adamek is a very different fighter right now; maybe even a completely different fighter altogether. Cunningham-Gavern: first fight as a heavyweight, sure motivation was there, but there will be a different motivation when Cunningham will step into ring across from Adamek. Nothing against Jason – he’s a tough fighter who comes to fight every time, but it was nothing personal for Steve. It will be against Adamek, so we expect Cunningham to do everything better this time. Much better. In 2008, Adamek, who was not the favorite, not only took Cunningham’s IBF belt but also recognition of being undisputed cruiserweight champ. I’m sure Steve remembers the feeling.
Compare Adamek and Cunningham for speed, power, heart, ring generalship…
First one I don’t know and I’m not ready to give it to Cunningham yet. We have wait for that. Power – no question Adamek. Heart is an even one and this is why I expect a great fight. There will be no losers – not the fighters, not the fans. Ring generalship is a tough one. Both have it, both are a very intelligent fighters but I will give Tomek a slight edge. He’s better when something goes wrong; does not know what the word “panic” means.
Just recently Tomek Adamek said that he’s possibly in the best shape of his life – both mentally and physically since you started working with him.
If he said it, it means it’s true…
No, seriously – we had a perfect training camp, with even the smallest thing going our way. Not even hint of any kind of injuries, perfectly spaced time between working on his technique and strength – everything. He is hungry again, can’t wait to be back in the ring.
How special is it for you, a trainer who has dedicated his life to boxing and was countless times on HBO or Showtime, to be a part of this NBC broadcast?
I was just thinking about it. It will be my debut as a professional trainer on network television, something I’m really excited and proud about. NBC is a great network, great sports network and maybe this is the direction we should be going with boxing – showing it for everybody, bring new fans to this beautiful sport.