Boxing News

Q&A: Eddie Mustafa Muhammad

Mary Ann Owen

By Przemek Garczarczyk

On August 21 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, Tomasz Adamek (41-1, 27 KO) will meet Michael Grant (46-3, 34 KO) in a fight that has more subplots than a James Bond movie. First, in 1999 Michael Grant beat another Polish heavyweight hopeful Andrew Golota. Secondly, Grant will have Eddie Mustafa Muhammad in his corner, the same trainer who guided light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson to dealing Adamek his only professional defeat. Eddie has no doubt that history will repeat itself.

Were you surprised with Team Adamek offering to fight Michael?

Very. You can write that Main Events and Adamek’s manager just committed a grave error. I was sure that waiting for championship fight chance for Adamek, they would look for somebody easy, a guy who will not pose any treat for their fighter. Michael is not one of those guys.

Some of the media are calling this fight a glorified, highly lucrative sparring session for Adamek. It must hurt…

I don’t pay attention to press reports. They mean nothing to the boxer or his team. I’m almost positive that people who write this have no idea that I’m training Michael Grant. I know that for Adamek’s promoters this fight supposed to be only a test before fighting the big Klitschko guys. For us it’s a fight that will catapult Michael to top five fighters in the world category and give him another chance to mix it up with champions.

Why you suppose that being a trainer of Chad Dawson, only fighter in the world who beat Adamek, will make such a difference? Grant and Dawson – we are talking two completely different fighters.

But Adamek is the same. I watched his fight with Arreola. Chris has a big heart but against Adamek he wasn’t skilled enough to beat him. You have to be very deliberate with Adamek, don’t rush into his traps, and just follow the plan. Arreola did not do that. Chad was fighting him perfectly, won 11 of 12 rounds. Whatever I saw three years ago, I will use against Adamek again on August 21 in Newark. I’m sorry to say, my Polish friends, but Michael will badly beat up another of your boxing stars. Adamek should have never agreed to this fight. We are training at the Las Vegas “Hit Factory” and this is what’s coming your way, Adamek – many heavy hits.

Going back to Adamek against Arreola – Chris fought a good fight and in the end it wasn’t enough. When Adamek goes into the ring, what will be the biggest surprise for him fighting Grant?

You don’t expect me to tell you our fight strategy, don’t you? I can tell you though, that the size and strength difference will be too much for Adamek to overcome. Arreola is not 6-7 with extremely long arms, but Michael is. Adamek will have to risk too much shortening the distance because this is the only way he can hit Michael. We will be waiting. Michael hits as hard as Arreola, but Michael is much stronger. What is he risking? Not much, because we all know that in heavyweight division Adamek’s punches cannot scare anybody. I already have five sparring partners lined up for Michael, guys who will be imitating Adamek. But you now what? I already know what he will do in there…

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