As he prepares for his February 6 showdown in Newark against former world light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek, 2004 U.S. Olympian Jason “Big Six” Estrada’s nose is out of place and it doesn’t have anything to do with sparring sessions gone wrong. Estrada (15-2, 3 KOs) feels disrespected by Team Adamek but not, surprisingly, for Adamek looking past him to a reported April 24 fight against Chris Arreola, rather their apparent belief that Adamek (39-1, 27 KOs) has faster hands than Estrada, whose hand speed for a 240-pound heavyweight has been his calling card. “Looking past me towards Arreola doesn’t really bother me,” Estrada said. “I think it’s silly and they’ll hear about it after the fight. I never talk too much but I’m going to talk like never before after this fight. I hope they keep thinking about fighting somebody else. I’m keeping track of everything and got names of people to talk about after I beat Adamek. I’m going to shutdown his plans.”
“I’m in the gym with sparring partners that are similar to him – tough, stand-up with decent hand speed. They made a big mistake offering me this fight and an even bigger mistake thinking he has faster hands than me. I’ve heard that they’ve brought in guys to work with who are big but don’t have fast hands. That makes me laugh. How, all of a sudden is he going to have faster hands than me? I am bigger, stronger, faster, quicker and younger than him. I’m just a better all-around fighter.”
Estrada also notes that he’s never been down and Adamek was floored twice as a light heavyweight. “I know he likes to pressure his opponents but how is he going to do that against a bigger guy like me,” Estrada rhetorically asked. “I’m a heavyweight, not a light heavyweight. I’ve never taken big hits like he has. They say he has a great chin, but so do I, and we know he has been hurt at least twice….by light heavyweights! They weren’t flash knockdowns, either. I’ve never been hurt in my whole career. I don’t see him changing his come forward, tough guy style at this stage. He was a good light heavyweight, good cruiserweight, but I’m a real heavyweight.”
Providence-native Estrada was one of the most highly decorated American amateur boxers ever, compiling an amazing 261-14 record in U.S. competition. He was the first boxer to win both the U.S. Nationals and U.S. Challenge three years (2001-2003) in a row.
During his 5-year pro career, the 29-year-old Estrada has beaten solid heavyweights such as Lance Whitaker, Zuri Lawrence, Derek Bryant, Charles Sufford and Robert Hawkins. Adamek’s lone win as a heavyweight, Estrada noted, was against an over-the-hill Andrew Golota.
“Jason has had his best training camp,” his promoter Jimmy Burchfield (Classic Entertainment and Sports, Inc.) remarked. “He’s never been in better shape, mentally or physically. He’s going to surprise a lot of people February 6th. Not me, though; I’ve always believed in him and I know what he’s capable of doing.”
By fight night, Estrada will have trained a full eight weeks for “Heavy Artillery,” much longer than ever before, and “Big Six” doesn’t mind fighting in Adamek’s backyard. “Training camp has been smooth,” Jason explained. “I’ve never had this much time to prepare for a fight, maybe five weeks and a couple of days, at best. There’s been plenty of time to get over little physical problems suffered in camp, not like in the past when I’d go straight from doing very little to hard training. I’m much more comfortable than I’ve ever been because of this extended time in camp. Mentally, it really helps.
“This is a big fight for me. Beating Adamek should take me to where I thought I’d be by now in the heavyweight division. Fighting in front of all his Polish fans doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve never had a problem being the villain. His fans will have nothing to do with the fight. It’s just going to be me and him in the ring. I’m half Puerto Rican with a lot of family, friends and fans coming to the fight, especially from New Jersey and New York. I know there will be a lot more Polish fans there for him, but my Hispanic fans will be loud, too.”