Boxing


Do not count Golota out against Adamek

Andrew Golotaby Geoffrey Ciani: Cruiserweight King Tomasz Adamek has decided to vacate his IBF championship as he enters final preparations for his bout against fellow Polish pugilist Andrew Golota. Going into this fight a lot of observers are viewing this as a sure win for Adamek. This seems like a reasonable assumption on the surface. After all, Golota’s best days are well behind him and even during his best days, when victory was all but certain, Golota always somehow managed to lose in big fight situations. His fight with Adamek is being billed as the “Polish Fight of the Century” which certainly constitutes a “big fight situation”, ergo, most observers assume Golota is sure to lose. Or is he?

Golota has clearly slowed down in recent years. In his last victory against Mike Mollo over a year ago, with his eye completely swollen shut, he overcame adversity and displayed heart and courage in a winning effort. Despite that win, Golota’s once deceptively fast hand speed was gone. The delivery of his punches was painfully slow. Even worse, since that victory he was clobbered early against Ray Austin in a way that was reminiscent of his first round knockout losses against Lamon Brewster and Lennox Lewis. He also suffered an arm injury in that contest which acts as a reminder that at age 41, Father Time is leaving its mark.

That Adamek is younger, faster, and has succeeded at the top level has lead most to believe that he should have no trouble with Golota. In fact, many are viewing this fight as nothing more than a welcoming ceremony designed to propel Adamek into the upper echelon of the heavyweight rankings. That this is being viewed as such a push-over is more than a bit baffling. There are several factors which many are overlooking that need to be considered. Do not be so quick to count Golota out in this one.

First off, Golota’s problems largely stem from the fact he is a slow starter. All too often Golota enters the ring cold. Big strong fast fighters like Lewis, Brewster, and Austin have been able to take advantage of this. They did so by jumping on Golota early before he was able to find his rhythm and overwhelming him with speed and power. It is extremely unlikely that Adamek will be able to exploit this weakness. Not only is Adamek a slow starter himself, but he is also considerably smaller than those fighters and does not pack the same type of fire power. Adamek is a good puncher and has been known to exhibit one-punch power at times, but by and large, he is an accumulation puncher and it remains to be seen whether or not he will even be able to carry his power up with him.

Many observers picking Adamek are willing to concede the fact that Adamek is not likely to overwhelm Golota with power and speed. Most of these same observers, however, point to Adamek’s superior hand speed as evidence that Tomasz should have no problems boxing his way to an easy decision victory. This, too, seems unlikely because it is predicated on the idea that Adamek is so fast Golota will be unable to hit him. Adamek has a great set of skills and outstanding fundamentals, but defense has never been his strong point. Some people are acting as if Adamek is Floyd Maytweather when it comes to the art of not being hit. On the contrary, Adamek is oftentimes very easy to hit. Golota may be older and he may be slower, but he is still a big strong guy who carries a solid punch and at some point or another he is going to land power shots.

Finally, and most importantly, Adamek is not a natural heavyweight. In fact, he is actually viewed on the small side as far as cruiserweights go. This does not bode well for him. Golota is a seasoned veteran who knows how to fight and use his reach and size to his advantage. That Adamek, who weighed less than two hundred pounds for his last fight in July, intends to enter the ring at 215-220 is something that may well have an adverse effect on his performance, especially if Golota is leaning on him a lot when the two are tied up in close quarters. Adamek’s frame and style are much better suited for the cruiserweight division where he has the potential to dominate for years to come.

This will be a difficult fight for both fighters and one that either man is capable of winning. At this point in time, there is no question that Adamek is the more talented fighter but since they are fighting at heavyweight, this sort of balances things out and makes this a pick’em fight. It is understandable that Adamek is looking for bigger paydays in what is (or at least once was) boxing’s most prestigious division. After all, it is not inconceivable that a win against Golota could help set him on a path that will lead to a showdown with one of the Klitchko brothers. At the same time, he is taking a big risk in this fight—a risk that is much greater than many seem to realize. In testing out the heavyweight waters, Adamek may have better served his own interests by taking on a smaller less experienced foe.

How much does Golota have left in the tank? At age 41 is he completely shot as a fighter? These are legitimate questions surrounding Golota as he enters final preparations for this fight. On the flipside, there are some very important questions concerning Adamek as well. Will his power be as effective at heavyweight? How will he withstand the punch of a 245 pound veteran? Will the excess weight slow him down and drain his stamina? If Golota does not suffer a freak injury (which is something that could certainly happen given his age) and if he can still perform at the type of level he did when he faced Mike Mollo, he should win.

My Prediction: Golota TKO8

***

To contact Ciani:
ciani@eastsideboxing.com

To read more by Ciani please visit The Mushroom Mag:
http://www.eatthemushroom.com/mag

To hear more from Ciani, be sure to tune in every Monday at 6pm ET to listen to On the Ropes—the #1 boxing radio program on Blogtalk Radio:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/On-The-Ropes

Article posted on 22.10.2009



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