By Przemek Garczarczyk
Photo: Wojtek Kubik
Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events, spoke to Fightnews.com after the official announcement of the September 8 fight between heavyweight title contender and former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek (46-2, 28 KOs) versus the hard hitting and very confident Travis “Freight Train” Walker (39-7, 31 KOs) at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.
How hectic weas last month before the official announcement of Tomasz Adamek vs Travis Walker? First it was was James Toney, then Alexander Ustinov in an IBF eliminator…
…and those were just the names reporters knew about. After Toney, we talked to at least three other established fighters who publicly were saying that they want piece of Tomek, but when it came to signing the contracts, they were less enthusiastic. Without mentioning any names – I’m talking about fighters overseas, although you can find some US fighters who also were reluctant to face Tomek. Fighters have big mouths how easy they will beat Adamek, we have now even Polish fighters, like young Artur Szpilka, who are provoking discussions with Adamek just to get their names in the same sentence. Funny thing, their promoters never contact us about possible fights. The same with Polish-born, but U.S.-based Mariusz Wach who said that he want to challenge Adamek, but his promoters never make the final step. We’ll accept anything if it makes sense and if Tomek OKs it, we are in business. In many cases it’s not even about money because some of the fighters will make a killing fighting Adamek – they’re just apparently not ready to face him. We also spoke with Cris Arreola, but at least he was honest – Cris wanted to fight his rematch with Adamek on HBO but a date wasn’t available, and this fight is not happening – now. Others were making absurd requests during negotiations, requests we couldn’t accept.
Travis Walker was a pleasure to deal with?
Yes, he was – couple of hours after we sent him the contract, it was signed and send back. Travis, like many fighters in the U.S., is convinced that Adamek can be beat, but like it always is, the ring will verify any verbal statements. Adamek is again the guy who has all the pressure on him. He’s the favorite, but on the other side both guys likes to brawl sometimes. Walker has heavy hands and when he connects there is usually trouble for the other guy. Adamek, of course, knows all of this, but knowing him, he welcomes this challenge the same way he welcomes all others – with a smile.
This is a special event – an afternoon affair in the Prudential Center in Newark, with a live PPV broadcast to Poland. Additional pressure?
This is a special event, but every Adamek fight is a special event – both in the U.S., like in Poland. We’re working to provide fans with a great evening of entertainment, with special features leading to the fight and, of course, a strong undercard with a number of well known names.
This fight should open a chance for Tomek Adamek to fight on December 22 in really special circumstances – on a live NBC event, something that is not happening on US television too often.
December 22 should be a great day for boxing fans in America. Without mentioning any names, for obvious reasons, I can say with confidence, that with NBC as my partner it will be event worth any station, no matter if my option number 1, 2 or 3 will happen. Obviously we can’t control everything, Adamek has to beat Travis Walker on September 8 first – another pressure – to make it happen. His fight with Travis will be for the #2 spot in IBF ratings, which is important if Adamek wants to be mandatory contender for Wladimir Klitschko’s belt. There’s so much going on, many fights for “Goral” to fight if he wins the battle with Walker, but this is when he’s the best – having his boxing wars often, basically living between the ropes.