It Is Still the Tomasz Adamek Show

By Tim Donaldson
Photos: "Sugar" Ray Bailey

When Tomasz Adamek fights in Newark, NJ, it is definitely his show. Fans in red and white descend all over the Prudential Center, carrying Polish flags, and chanting Polska and the name Adamek. The crowd is there for him, and they begin their celebration long before the fight is over. They also begin long before Adamek enters the ring. Before the first undercard bout, the chants had begun and fans ran up and down steps carrying large Polish flags.

But Tomasz Adamek is not simply a fighter that Polish fans can get behind. Adamek delivers an exciting fight.

Friday night was no exception. When Adamek stepped into the ring with Johnathan Banks, you could just feel that something was going to happen. They came in like two great warriors. You could see the concentration and determination on the faces of both fighters. Both wanted to win. No one was looking for an easy exit from this fight. In a world full of boxing mismatches, this was a match that deserved to be.

Banks started out the fight strong, landing some good shots against Adamek. At times, Adamek looked as though he were having trouble against Banks. We were to learn later in the post-fight press conference that Adamek was told by his trainer to be patient. It wasn’t until the last ten seconds that Adamek started to connect.

Banks, a true professional, did not let this give him a false confidence. He kept his distance in the second round, constantly moving, and coming in when he had an opening to land several good combinations. Again, Adamek came to life at the end of the round, but the round definitely belonged to Banks.

Adamek’s patience began to pay off, and by the third round, he was in control. He landed more shots on Banks, and Banks began to fight more defensively, quickly holding Adamek to stop the hits. But in the fourth, Banks caught Adamek with a hook and caused him to stumble. Again, Adamek came back late in the round. All through this, Adamek’s fans kept up the chanting. Cheering every time he landed a punch or even nearly landed a punch. They never seemed to doubt their man.

The next three rounds all belonged to Adamek. And although Banks was still very much in this fight, the tide had turned in favor of Tomasz Adamek. Adamek was punishing Banks, landing shot after shot to the body. And that was the key to this fight. Adamek attacked Banks in the body and head, while Banks seemed to concentrate only on the head of Adamek. Those body shots would soon payoff. At times, Banks seemed to have trouble landing more than a single jab. You could see that Adamek’s strategy was paying off.

Banks landed a good shot to the head of Adamek, but it wasn’t enough. Adamek answered, landing a right that would send Banks to the canvas. When Banks got up, he stumbled back and forth in the ring, trying to get his balance. And although referee Eddie Cotton said that the fight could continue, Adamek had decided it was time to end it. He sent Banks down again. Adamek won by TKO at 1:30 of the eighth round.

In the co-feature, Giovanni Lorenzo made quick work of Dionisio Miranda, redeeming himself for his loss to Raul Marquez. The first round saw the two fighters mostly testing each other, but Lorenzo quickly was in control of the second round. Lorenzo landed a right to the jaw of Miranda that landed him on the canvas. The fight was over at 2:48 in the second round. Lorenzo is now the number one contender for the IBF Middleweight title.