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Tomasz Adamek: I need to get my hunger back

By Przemek Garczarczyk

“If you look at my American Dream since 2005, then you could see how many fights, how many battles I had to go through. I’m 37, nobody is hiding that but I want to fight maybe twice more. But first I have to step back from boxing, get some hunger back,” said former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion and heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek (49-3, 29 KOs) in a very open, honest TV Polsat interview with noted Polish sports journalist and boxing analyst Mateusz Borek.

Mateusz Borek: Tomek Adamek – still a fighter or just a politician?

Tomasz Adamek: Of course a fighter. I never said that my career is finished. Health, being elected to European Parliament and then I will think about what’s next for me in the ring.

Is it true that when you were approached by your political party, you specifically asked to have written permission to fight again, to continue your sports adventure with boxing?

Yes, it was very important for me. They understood that.

What changed? I remember when we meet at your home 48 hours after Vyacheslav Glazkov fight, when you were just about 70 percent ready to say “no more.” Just after the fight, in the ring, you sounded like your career is over. What happened in the last weeks to change your mind?

I realized that I need a break from boxing before I would make any decision. If you look at my American Dream since 2005, then you could see how many fights, how many battles I had to go through. I’m 37, nobody is hiding that but I want to fight maybe twice more. But first I have to step back from boxing, get some hunger back.

I have to disagree – yes, 2012 was busy for you, but in 2013 you fought once – with Dominic Guinn.

You have to look at the whole picture – 52 fights, how many ring wars? Starting with Paul Briggs in 2005, keeping my weight down for light heavyweight limits. It was worse than boxing. Thank God, I was able to do a lot for Polish boxing in the US. But when you have some weeks off, like I had now, you want to go back. You miss boxing. You don’t want to end a career like mine with lost fight to Glazkov. I’ve been in the ring since I was 12.

As a former light heavyweight, cruiserweight champion, challenger for heavyweight title, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone. 31-1 as a light heavyweight, losing only to then champ Chad Dawson, 7-0 as cruiser with 5 KOs and 11-2 as heavyweight, with only 3 KOs. March 15 defeat against Glazkov marks the end of an era of a great champion?

I was missing something that night. Maybe it’s time for a change? Maybe I need to change my training regiment? Maybe 4 hours a day for a 37 year old is not a good idea anymore? But Glazkow was better that night. It was a fact.

Matchmaking for this fight – considering all you sparring rounds with “Czar” – not the best option you could choose? You had the last word but you decided to fight Glazkow, who before your fight was basically an unknown.

It was a fight for #2 in the IBF rankings. The IBF approved Glazkow, it was a chance for me to get closer to a championship fight with Wladimir. I could, of course, just have a fight with some number 10 guy, but what’s the point? Making some extra money? Being 37, there’s no time to waste and beating Glazkov would make me closer to title fight.

When you went home after this bout, I was sitting in my hotel room, in the middle of the night, in Bethlehem with friends, watching your previous fights, from years back. A lot has changed in your style. You became a defensive fighter – agree or disagree?

Disagree. I cannot move like 20-year old when I’m 37. If I would fight like I was fighting then, get hit with all these punches as a heavyweight, I doubt I could carry a conversation with you now. My memory is perfect, I enjoy a normal life. If I would even see a small deterioration of my skills, reflexes, I would already be retired, not discussing next fights.

There was only one time when I saw you looking beaten, with swollen face like that – when you fought Vitali Klitchko.

I’ve had tougher fights, was hit much harder than in the Glazkov fight. Against Paul Briggs I fought with a broken nose. Michael Grant, he hit me so hard that my legs almost gave away. Chris Arreola, when I lost my teeth, broke my eardrum. I know wars.

Looking at US the television market, you still can fight the best, having your championship pedigree, your name, your following. As your fan, representing them, I don’t want you to be just a stepping stone for others, for fistful of dollars.

It will never happen. We will know more in the coming weeks, but I would never be just an opponent.

October 18, Polsat Boxing Night, biggest night of boxing in Polish TV. Owner of the station would like to see you there, in the main event. Can you envision that? Couple of names for you to consider – WBC cruiserweight champion Krzysztof “Diablo” Włodarczyk…

…who else?

…Krzysztof Zimnoch, Przemek Saleta, Artur Szpilka, Mariusz Wach. There’s a line forming…

Understandable. When you fight Adamek, you earn money. Guys want their piece of the pie. From this list, Diablo deserves to fight me the most. He’s a champion, but after the Andrzej Gołota fight I told myself that I will not fight Polish fighters anymore. Some fans still are holding it against me that I beat Golota, forgetting that this was his idea.

Adamek versus Włodarczyk would be the Polish Battle of Century. Some years ago, Diablo promoters would be skeptical to make this fight. Now, possibly they see a different Adamek, weaker Adamek and they would not say no. Would you beat him?

And what next, after I beat Krzysztof? For the next 5 years fans in Poland would say I beat another champion. But I know to never say never.

Some experts are questioning your work with Roger Bloodworth saying, that you’re not developing as a fighter. If you would continue your career – it would happen with Bloodworth?

Of course. I learned a lot from him, learned how to fight as a heavyweight. When they asked Golota, who was his best trainer, best teacher, he said “Roger Bloodworth.” Roger is still considered one of the best. And he’s best for me.

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