Tomasz Adamek-Jonathon Banks - Who Wins?

tomasz adamekby James Slater - Poland's 32-year-old Tomasz Adamek only won the IBF cruiserweight title he now holds back in December of last year; yet he is set to make his first defence on Feb. 27th - a mere two-and-a-half months on. Making this move even more surprising, is the fact that in winning his prize, against Steve "USS" Cunningham, Adamek was hurt plenty throughout the 12-rounder (both men were) and really had to dig deep so as to win. If ever a newly crowned champion had a right to take a few months off before stepping back into the ring, it is the Pole.

Instead, however, "Goral" goes in with the unbeaten Kronk fighter Jonathon Banks, in Newark, New Jersey, late next month. Will Adamek's desire to rumble again so quickly after the Cunningham war prove to go against him?

Though Banks is a fighter who is capable of blowing hot and cold - see his 1st round TKO of Imamu Mayfield for the former, and his laboured points win over Vincenzo Rossitto for the latter - the 26-year-old must be given the respect afforded any fighter who has yet to taste defeat. Armed with the confidence and belief that he can not be beaten, Banks, who for some reason twice pulled out of fights with Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli, must be given a chance against the reigning IBF champion.

Adamek, who is also unbeaten as a 200-pounder (his sole pro career loss coming in a WBC light-heavyweight title defence against Chad Dawson back in Feb. of 2007), is the bigger puncher of the two, he has proven himself against a finer class of opposition, and he has proven he has a fine chin. As such, he must be made a very firm favourite over the still somewhat unproven Banks. Will the younger man be capable of going to war the way Adamek likes to? Will Banks' stamina and as yet largely untested chin hold up if he is dragged into such a bout?

In his last fight, against the Italian Rossitto, back in July of last year, Banks looked poor at times. Even reduced to blowing heavily and fighting as though stuck in mud, the would-be-star appeared both laboured and disinterested during his close points win. He will have to be on much better form if he is to have any shot at beating the man who has seen off men the quality of Cunningham, O'Neil Bell, and, down at 175-pounds, Paul Briggs (twice) and Thomas Ulrich. But that's the thing, maybe Banks WILL be on better form next month.

If the after affects of the Cunningham battle have weakened Adamek at all, and if he really should have allowed another month pr so to have passed before fighting again, Banks' luck just might be in in Newark. The 26-year-old challenger is no huge puncher at 20-0(14) - at least he hasn't looked like one thus far, not against anyone of real note, anyway - but he is hungry, reasonably slick, and both the fresher and slightly taller man.

Adamek, though he can punch stiffly, is no murderous banger either, but at 36-1(24), the world champion has a huge edge in experience (at both pro and amateur level - an 108-12 amateur record for Adamek) and this should prove more than enough to see him to victory. Banks, who has it all to do, will either make his move and cause the upset, or he will be moved back down to the level he has boxed at previously.

This writer picks the latter result. Adamek by late stoppage.

Article posted on 30.01.2009

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