Feature Story

Q&A: Roger Bloodworth

By Przemek Garczarczyk
Photo: Mike Gladysz/Team Adamek

“When you’re fighting Tomek Adamek, you see something that is just not there. You hit him assuming that he’s weakening, you go forward guns blazing and Tomek just waits for you with a big punch or two. A bunch of people were already surprised like that,” said Roger Bloodworth, trainer of former light heavyweight and cruiserweight world champion and current heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek (46-2, 28 KOs) who will be tested in an IBF North America title fight by 6’5″ Travis Walker (39-7, 31 KOs) on September 8th at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The bout will be televised in the U.S. by Wealth TV. The clash is also available on WealthTV.com. The card is presented by Main Events in association with Peltz Boxing, and Ziggy Promotions.

How – if it all – have changes of the possible opponents for Tomek Adamek’s September 8 fight changed your preparations? It started with James Toney, for a blink of an eye it was Alexander Ustinov and it all ended with Travis Walker.

Roger Bloodworth: This is one of main reasons why I never comment on potential opponents of my fighters in reply to reporters’ questions about fighter A, B or C before the guy actually signs the contract. Good thing was that we were in camp doing stuff not connected to a certain fighter or his style, not worrying about James, Alexander or Travis. So if you asking me – it did nothing bad to my plans. And you know Tomek – he just doesn’t care who he fights anyway.

Just after he signed the contract, Travis Walker said that he’s not a talkative guy, he lets his fist do the talking in the ring. It changed – now every week there’s escalation of words about what he will do to Adamek. It started with just being bigger and stronger, and then was something about having a better jab and now Adamek is going down after one punch. And of course Walker is convinced that he hits harder than the Klitschkos.

RB: Of course he does – in his mind at least. For now we don’t even know if one of these statements is true. We have to wait until September to know. But what we know is that Adamek already beat bigger and stronger people than Travis. I understand that Walker is very confident after knocking out a big man in Australia in his last fight. Walker also has a longer time than usual to prepare for his fight, so he must be confident and I wish him to be best he can be. For just one reason – because Adamek will be, so we’ll have great fight. I have no idea how Travis will be fighting – maybe just waiting for an Adamek mistake, connect with couple of punches and win fight by KO; maybe he will be an aggressor from the start. We don’t know, but we’ll be ready for whatever happens.

Travis Walker considers himself one of the best finishers in the business. He is convinced that if he will hit Adamek hard, make him wobble, he will quickly finish the job.

RB: When you’re fighting Tomek, you see something that’s not there. You hit him assuming that he’s weakening, you go forward guns blazing and Tomek just waits for you with a big punch or two. A bunch of people were already surprised like that.

Jonathon Banks comes to mind…

RB: For example Banks, yes. You can hear those stories about people saying that they “almost” had Adamek; they punch him with their best punches and…nothing happens. Michael Grant did this in 6 or 7 rounds. Almost does not work in boxing.

Some of the Adamek critics – especially in his native Poland – are saying that he should be lighter, fight with more movement like he did when he beat Chris Arreola.

RB: Adamek was good fighting Chris but he moved too much. Your ring movement should give you two major advantages: give fighter the best possible position to hit the other guy or put your rival in situation when you can hit him but he cannot hit you with his best weapons. Adamek fighting Arreola today would do much bigger damage, without being so exhausted like he was then in California. You don’t have to run all the time to make yourself hard to hit. Anybody ever saw Floyd Mayweather Jr. running all over the ring? Ever?

Before the Eddie Chambers fight you worked with Adamek to change his defensive stance, use his natural ability and movement skills from the lighter weight classes. Will we see more of this “Money” stance against Travis Walker?

RB: Sure – it will be more natural for him now, more instinctive. Adamek will be working angles, make Walker miss and hit back with his combinations easier and harder. You should learn from every fight and Adamek is doing just that. Getting closer and closer to be a complete heavyweight fighter.

The September 8th Adamek-Walker event is available live at WealthTV.com. WealthTV is available on Verizon FiOS TV (channels 169 and 669 in HD), AT&T U-Verse TV (channels 470 and 1470 in HD), along with over 100 cable systems across the country. Click here for more information.

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