Live Coverage from Newark by Gary Purfield
Tomasz Adamek took care of business by defeating the much larger but less skilled Kevin McBride by wide unanimous decision Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Adamek 44-1 (28 KO) who won by scores of 120-108, 119-108, and 119-108 now has a date in September to challenge Vitali Klitschko for his WBC heavyweight title. The bout will take place in Adamek’s homeland of Poland.
Fighting in front of a large predominantly Polish crowd Adamek’s superior speed and skill controlled the fight from start to finish. McBride gave it a tough effort but was never able to match Adamek’s ability and never landed the big punch he needed to turn the momentum in his favor.
The opening round saw McBride pulling Adamek in to make it a tight brawling fight where his size would give him an advantage. By the last minute of the round Adamek began fighting on his terms by moving in and out to land shots to the body and head of his slower opponent.
Each round followed a similar pattern with Adamek moving and punching while McBride chased. McBride used every trick in the book to get a hold of Tomasz and use any tactic possible to inflict damage. McBride would grab hold of Adamek, lean his 280lb body into the smaller man holding him with one arm and punching with the other. McBride also resorted to punching behind the head and various other questionable tactics. The punches behind the head cost McBride a point in the seventh but this was not going to factor into the outcome. McBride had to knock Adamek out to have any shot of taking home a win. The big man appeared winded by the fourth round but never stopped making an effort to shock the boxing world as he did against Mike Tyson five years ago.
It was relatively easy for Adamek to avoid the slow punches from McBride. Tomasz would regularly bob under the big man’s lumbering punches and several times McBride went flying into the ropes after swinging at air because Adamek had weaved underneath the shot and out of harm’s way. Afterwards McBride credited Tomasz’s speed as being the difference. McBride stated he tried to catch Adamek to land a big punch but he was too fast.
For Adamek he was able to dominate on the cards but at 215lbs just did not have the power to land a knockout punch on such a large man. Adamek hurt McBride a few times especially in the seventh round where he turned up the heat but never had his opponent truly in trouble. McBride said afterwards that Adamek’s speed results in power and felt that Tomasz has what is needed to beat a Klitschko.
The crowd that was heavily in support of Adamek thundered in applause and screams every time Adamek landed. In round seven when Tomasz seemed to be making a run for the knockout the building was full of energy. In between rounds the crowd would cheer and chant in unison to root on the Polish icon. In round twelve McBride made his last push but Adamek easily moved and landed at will to thrill the fans in the final stanza.
Afterwards Adamek stated he was never hurt and felt this was a good tune up for his date with Vitali Klitschko. Tomasz stated he feels good at this weight and will not look to add weight because it would cost him speed. He further stated that it is his dream to be heavyweight champion.
Adamek will have his work cut out against Vitali. He will again be facing a significant size disadvantage but will also be facing a big man who is very skilled in the ring. But if Vitali has lost a step as it appeared in his one round against Odlanier Solis Adamek just might be able to pull the shocking upset realizing his dream and sending Polish fans in Poland and America into a frenzy.
Sadam Ali cruised to victory against Javier Perez in the co-main event. Ali landed at will in the first round and punctuated the round with a knockdown from a left hook.
Ali seemed to get some practice in during the second round then went hunting again in the third. After landing power punches at will Ali decked Perez with a crushing left hook that left him flat on his back. The fight was halted without counting. Ali gets the knockout at two minutes and forty seconds of round three. He improves his record to 12-0 (7KO) while Perez drops to 8-5 (5 KO).
The former Olympian Ali has a wealth of talent. He is fast and heavy handed to along with being well spoken and having a solid amateur background. At twelve fights into his pro career he is certainly ready to take a step up in competition.
With the crowd filled with proud Polish fans ready to see their man Adamek later in the night they got a warm up when Andrzej Fonfara of Poland. Fonfara scored a big knockout of Ray Smith in a light heavyweight six rounds at one minute and four seconds of round four.
Fonfara controlled the first three rounds and then landed a huge right hand in the fourth that sent Smith sprawling into the ropes. Fonfara followed up and dropped Smith scoring the knockout. The mostly Polish crowd was in full support of their countryman and went wild in the entertaining fourth round. Fonfara moves to 17-2 (8 KO) while Smith falls to 9-6 (3 KO).
Josellito Collado won a close split decision over Rafael Lora in a six round featherweight bout. The fight was close throughout with both men having their moments. Collado landed the heavier shots but had his struggles. He was cut in the third from an accidental head butt and this seemed to bother him as he was penalized a point in the following round for repeated low blows.
Collado finished strong including a sharp straight right that stunned his opponent in the sixth. Two judges saw it for Collado 12-0 (3 KO by scores of 59-54 and 57-56 while the third judge gave the fight to Lora 57-56 who drops to 11-4 (5 KO).
Jose Peralta dominated Eber Luis Perez in route to a third round TKO victory. Peralta pounded Perez to the body and head while Perez did very little in return. Peralta scored a knockdown in the second and then another in the third when the bout was stopped at two minutes and forty nine seconds into the round by referees Earl Morton. Peralta improves to 6-1 (4 KO) while Perez drops to 10-17-1 (8 KO)
In the opening bout of the evening Vinny O’Brien halted Shakir Dunn at two minutes and fifty one seconds of the fourth and final round. The Jersey native O’Brien fighting in his second pro bout provided another entertaining brawl for his local fans and supporters.
Both fighters took the first round to feel each other out and then went to work in the second. O’Brien landed plenty of power shots but also ate some leather in return. The pace slowed slightly in round three and accelerated again in round four. O’Brien took control quickly in the fourth landing straight rights to the body and left hooks to Dunn’s head. Trainer Lou Esa stated this was the game plan and was happy with his fighter’s execution. Towards the end of the final round as Dunn 0-1, who was making his pro debut was taking more and more punishment. Referee Alan Huggins responded to Dunn’s corner who jumped to the ring apron to halt the fight.
O’Brien 2-0 (2 KO) who had a nice crowd on hand makes for entertaining fights but to be successful as he steps up in competition a bigger commitment to defense will be needed. Afterwards O’Brien discussed being a fighter that goes for the kill and has the instinct to finish an opponent.
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