By Przemek Garczarczyk
Photos: KO Kings/360 I Network
“I know what beating Adamek on September 8 will do to my career. I suspect that Adamek is overlooking me as a fighter, he’s already planning other fights in the future. Even better, I will have more satisfaction after beating him, knocking him out,” says Travis Walker (39-7, 31 KOs) who on September 8 in the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, will challenge former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek (46-2, 28 KO) for the #2 spot in the IBF heavyweight rankings. The fight will be broadcast live on PPV in Poland.
How well did you know Adamek before receiving contract offer? What’s your opinion about his ranking?
Yes, of course I knew about Adamek, I knew he’s one of the top guys in the heavyweight division but until the contract was on the table I did not pay any special attention to what he’s doing. He deserves everything he’s got because he fights often, is always in the mix. This is the reason why I think his position is justified. But my other opinion is that Adamek is too small for being ranked so high, too small for the real battles with the top big guys.
Many fighters are voicing they opinions about fighting Adamek “anytime and anywhere” but when it comes to putting their signature on the dotted line, nothing happens. It took you a whole two hours to send signed contract back.
Because I know what beating Adamek on September 8 will do to my career. I suspect that Adamek is overlooking me as a fighter, he’s already planning other fights in the future. Even better, I will have more satisfaction after beating him, knocking him out.
What, in your opinion, will be biggest problem for Adamek?
My jab, my overall strength. My jab will stop him every time he will try to come closer. He has to try something, try to put some punches together. If he decides to run the whole day, he can do it but he also has to fight me if he want to win, doesn’t he?
Do you think that from the beginning Adamek will count on winning this bout safely, on the scorecards? It’s not exactly his character…
I’m convinced that this is exactly his game plan, because why would somebody without punching power risk exchanges with puncher like me? I have a big chance to knock Adamek out but even if this fight goes to scorecards, he will not get another gift like he got when he fought Eddie Chambers. Adamek knows that he lost that fight. I’m not in business of giving gifts, I’m in the business of knocking people out.
Is Adamek difficult to fight because of his roots in the light heavyweight and cruiserweight divisions? Because he doesn’t fight like a “typical heavyweight?
I don’t know yet if Adamek is difficult to fight, I will know on September 8. I’ll be ready, my plan is already in place, my team will take care of getting me the right sparring partners and I will start my sessions in couple of days. I know his weaknesses, how to exploit them is up to my trainer. I will not call people who already fought him to ask for advice – it’s not my style, I prefer to make up my own mind how to approach the fight.
There’s no question that one of Adamek biggest strengths is his mental attitude, never die approach…
You can say the same about me. Just look at my career. I was down couple of times but always was able to pick myself up. I deserve this chance, nobody is giving me something for nothing. When I was flying to Australia to fight Kali Meehan, I knew how important this fight will be for my career. I was right – without beating Meehan in Australia, the Adamek fight in States would never happen.
There is a similarity between you and Adamek: you both don’t like to talk too much before the fight, turning press conferences into theatrical spectacles.
Because it makes no sense, proving your worth can only happen between the ropes. I’m a fighter in the ring, a quiet man outside it. But if you will provoke me, you will get a big time response every time.
What don’t people know about Travis Walker?
They don’t know that I’m very spiritual person, who loves his family and friends. Kids are always bringing smile to my face. I like to speak to them, attend meetings at schools. I remember how important it was to me, when I was a kid to meet a celebrity, listen to him. I want to give back as much as I can.