Memories of My Friend Tomasz Adamek
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
For the love of me, I do not know why Tomasz Adamek fought his last three fights in Poland. Or I do know why. He had a strong Polish American fan base in New York and New Jersey. After getting robbed against Vyacheslav Glaskov, in a ten rounder, Adamek
Left. Many decisions he had gotten, and his skills are never to be forgotten.
At close to 40 years old, Adamek finally lost to opponents like Artur Szpilka and Eric Molina, who he would have beaten five years ago. Technically, Adamek can still do much. Stamina wise, he has slowed down Tomasz, it must be noted, was never a heavyweight.
I had seen some of his wars with great admiration for his hard work and tenacity.
So it was only apropos I was not there when the end came. Eric Molina, an opponent Chris Arreola took out in the first round. The same Chris Arreola Adamek had stopped. Now, Adamek was going life and death with an opponent he should not be going life and death with. Worn down by power shots, his will and breath shortened by father time, Tomasz finally went down with one second left in round ten. Badly beaten, I’m glad Tomasz did not get up. I’m glad he recognized the end when it came.
Tomasz held the light heavyweight and cruiserweight titles. He was never, in my view, a true full heavyweight. Adamek, like many others, conquered the lower weights and tried his hand at the big cheese. Heavyweight paydays are gravy train. When you are too small, though, the formula doesn’t work.
From Michael Spinks to Dwight Muhammad Qawi, from Bob Foster to Michael Moorer, from Archie Moore to Tommy Loughran to Billy Conn, light heavyweights have tried to move up to heavyweight, before there was even a cruiserweight division) to mixed success. Others, from Eddie Chambers to Leon Spinks to Bob Fitzsimmons, have tried coming down from heavyweight to the lower weight classes. Ex-heavyweight champion Fitzsimmons actually beat George Gardner for the 170 pound World Light Heavyweight title in San Francisco in November 1903. Joey Maxim beat Floyd Patterson in June 1954 weighing 177 pounds, but lost eight of his last nine bouts trying to move up from light heavyweight to heavyweight thereafter. Last week, former world cruiserweight champion Imamu Mayfield made a comeback in Atlantic City at heavyweight but lost the decision.
Tomasz Adamek was such a gentle, soft spoken gentleman of the sport of boxing. He lacked power above 200pounds, but was an extreme hard work like Evander Holyfield, and thus Tomasz created many opportunities for himself other fighters would not normally get. You have to know your limits, though. Rocky Marciano retired at age 32. Tomasz Adamek was almost eight years beyond that point. His offensive skills were still here, but his stamina and defensive skills were slipping. Where was he headed with his career at that point? When you become the opponent, you no longer have a magic moment. Tomasz Adamek’s time came and went. He did it his way. Tomasz would make a great trainer in the future.