By Przemyslaw Garczarczyk
On August 21, in the friendly confines of the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, where he won four consecutive times, Tomasz Adamek (41-1, 27 KOs), top five heavyweight in the world, will be back versus Michael Grant (46-3, 34 KOs) in a fight that will be televised worldwide on pay-per-view. Why Grant? What are Adamek’s plans for the future? And what were his other options? All will be revealed in this exclusive interview with one of the most exciting heavyweights in the world.
More than decade ago, Grant was considered one of the new wave of great American fighters. In 1999 he fought Andrew Golota, went down twice but won the fight when Golota inexplicably quit in the tenth round. Did you see this fight?
Yeah, and a couple more, when Grant fought my recent sparring partner Dominick Guinn or his latest KO win, barely weeks ago. Grant is tough to fight: unbelievable reach, close to 7 feet, around 250 pounds…
An American version of the Klitschko brothers…
Exactly, this is the idea behind this fight. We were seriously discussing other options: Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones Jr, Hasim Rahman, but in reality none of those fights would prepare me better for the – I hope – inevitable war with one of Klitschkos. Maybe I could earn couple of dollars more using other guy’s popularity, but I’m in this for the long haul, championship in 2011. I needed tests like Grant, because none of my previous heavyweight opponents was like him. It should not be a surprise for anyone that I’m not blindly jumping into any world championship opportunity. Even before Arreola fight, my trainers Roger Bloodworth and Ronnie Shields spoke publicly that I need two more additional fights to be a complete boxer, ready to fight the big guys. I trust my coaches.
What would happen if you will get a chance to fight for the title in December and both Bloodworth and Shields are saying “no,” but there is a lot of money in stake?
Last decision is always the fighter’s decision. Coaches are not wearing gloves in the ring. This will never change.
You start training in couple of weeks in Atlantic City, where Bloodworth will prepare his other fighter, David Tua. Sparring, just because height difference between David and Michael makes no sense. Maybe Golota?
I don’t think so, there are better choices. This is Roger’s and Ronnie’s decision; they know what I need to be perfectly prepared. It’s just the beginning, then again moving from my home in New Jersey for at least eight weeks to Houston. The hotter version of Texas, I only heard about from Ronnie when I was training there before Chris Arreola fight in March and April.
You mentioned that you want to become a “complete fighter” in the next 6-8 months. What does it mean?
TA: I have to utilize my speed and precision even more. Use my championship experience from light heavyweight and cruiserweight divisions, to move better, be an enigma for the opposite fighter. They should guess all the time where I’m and what punch is coming their way. If I can do this, I’m already half way to championship.
For the first time, you will be fighting on PPV…
It’s a natural progression, extending my fan base even more. I have more and more fans around the world, not only Polish fans, but those guys you can find everywhere, so it works well for everybody. I’m of course looking forward for all those white and red wearing crazies in the Prudential Center, but this way, they can follow me on TV wherever they are.
For Michael Grant it will be great, and probably last chance, to be back in the elite of heavyweight division. He will be desperate and highly motivated. Dangerous?
I know this. I also know that he will not win by decision. He has to knock me out, no other choice for him. I like it this when somebody has to fight certain way. I always have a cool head in the ring; love to analyze what’s going on and then strike. I don’t predict I will knock him out; I never do this, but maybe I can try something extra for my fans.
In couple of days, you countryman Albert Sosnowski will fight overwhelming favorite, world title holder Vitali Klitschko. Your best advice?
I’m sure Albert has enough of that from his coaching staff. I read somewhere that he wants to use his ring generalship, some speed to beat Klitschko. Not sure it would work in his case, though. He should just make this a street fight, just risk everything and try to rattle Vitali. Just forget you are in the ring, make this something personal.