The fight that captivated Poland turned out to be not much of a fight at all, as cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek moved up to heavyweight to cut down Andrew Golota with virtually no difficulty whatsoever. When Golota showed up to the weigh-in at a career-high weight and looking thick around the middle, he didn’t help his cause, and it betrayed how little interest he had in winning this fight, but at 41, and far slower than a prime Adamek, he probably only had a puncher’s chance to begin with, and the chance never arrived. Adamek outboxed, outslicked, outquicked and outpunched Golota, decking him and cutting him badly over his right eye in the 1st, stunning him in the 4th, then putting him down again in the 5th and finishing matters with a powerful series of combos that forced the referee to step in and call the fight to a halt.
It was a successful heavyweight debut for Adamek, who, like all cruiserweights, dreams to my dismay of the biggest division of them all. Adamek, at a mere 215 pounds, showed why smaller big men are more entertaining big men, boxing and punching with equal effectiveness, and the cruiserweight limit of 200 pounds — I think I’ve mentioned before, right? — is the approximate size of many glorious heavyweight greats of old, with everyone from Joe Louis to Muhammad Ali spending time around 200 as opposed to the slow, boring 260-pound, even 300-pound, giants of today. The Klitschko brothers have talked up the idea of one of them fighting Adamek in what would be a very popular fight, I’m guessing, with the Klitschkos bringing Germany and all the former Soviet Union and Adamek bringing Poland (although not the eastern portion… USSR joke!) and the rabid Polish fan base in the United States. It’s a fight that would make Adamek millions, and make the Klitschkos millions, and for that reason it’s probably inevitable.
And then the Klitschkos would do to Adamek what they do in their inevitable way to everyone they ever fight, which is to keep him on the outside, punish him slowly and stop him. If that happens, the thinking is, Adamek moves back down to cruiser and defends his Ring belt there, making significantly more interesting and competitive fights with the likes of Steve Cunningham or Bernard Hopkins, assuming HBO or Showtime ever get a clue about what an exciting, high-quality, ticket-selling fighter Adamek is. In a post-Klitschko world, maybe Adamek could be a factor at heavyweight. He was able to hurt Golota, but then everyone else has been able to as well, and he took what few power shots Golota landed on him, and he’d probably be amongst the most nimble and skillful heavyweights, but beating Golota says very little about how one would do against other heavies not named Klitschko. I do sometimes dream of a heavyweight division where not everyone is 6’7″ and methodical as hell, a world populated by, say, a David Haye, or a slimmed-down Arreola, or maybe even an Adamek. That could be fun. But so long as the Klitschkos exist, they will be the focus of the division, and everyone else is fighting for 3rd place. Maybe one day Adamek can be a factor in a post-Klitschko heavyweight world. But until they’re gone, Adamek heavyweight ceiling is “distant 3rd at best,” with a knockout loss on his record if ever the fight poster reads “Klitschko-Adamek.”