By JE Grant
Poland’s Tomasz Adamek’s march to the brothers Klitschko continues tonight as he faces giant Irishman Kevin McBride in Newark’s Prudential Center.
A win means a certain shot later this years against someone named Klitschko.
Whatever one considers his chances when he clashes with one of the brothers – presumably Vitali first – no one can doubt his resolve. In previous title reigns in the light-heavyweight and cruiserweight divisions, his grit and determination have remained undiminished.
Adamek, 34, 43-1 (28 KO’s), Gilowice, Poland, enters the ring at a fit 215.
Let’s make no mistake, despite the vast size difference; no person entering the arena believes McBride can capitalize on his advantage – despite his past glory in ending Mike Tyson’s career almost six years ago. Since that shining moment he is 2-4 including a loss in England’s Prizefighter and a loss to a fighter with a decidedly losing record.
McBride’s role in this bout is to be big – very big like, say, a Klitschko. At slightly over 6’1”, Adamek will be dwarfed by the 6’6” former-fringe contender McBride, 37, 35-8-1 (29 KO’s), Clones, Ireland, 285, – befitting this era of the giant heavyweight.
Adamek’s promoter, Main Events, has moved him methodically through the land of big men such as Andrew Golota, Chris Arreola, and Michael Grant with distinct eye toward a possible showdown with one or both of the Klitschkos.
His team is keenly aware of the potential pitfall of what amounts to a tune-up for a major contest.
"This is a very important fight and we've seen lots of fighters in this situation look past the guy in front of him,” said Kathy Duva, head of Main Events. McBride, “pretty much made a name for himself by scoring one of the biggest upsets ever and ending Mike Tyson's career. We are not taking that lightly at all and nor should anyone else."
Despite the considerable odds against his success, McBride is aiming for a repeat of his upset of Tyson.
“I'm going to upset the world and especially the Polish people because I'm here to win,” he said at his final press conference Wednesday.
At that same press conference, Adamek made his mindset clear .
"Before my big fight in September I must beat Kevin. I respect Kevin and I am ready. I will give all my fans a good show, because I am a warrior. This is my destiny."
ANALYSIS: Unfortunately for McBride, even at his best, never proved adept at catching quick-fisted, quick-footed opponents. Adamek is both. McBride is also not a particularly brutal puncher despite his size and his knockout record. Other than his stoppage of a sadly faded Tyson, he has no other knockout wins over rated fighters. Adamek has adapted his style since moving to the division. As a light-heavyweight willing to go engage every minute of every round, Adamek excited the crowds and depended on an especially sturdy chin to pull him through. It is clear that in adding to his arsenal of boxing skills, that he knows major exchanges with the likes of Grant, Arreola and especially the Klitschkos are not healthy. Adamek is throw-back fighter who has met the future and has learned to meet and overcome new challenges.
Adamek will pick apart McBride from the opening bell; confusing and frustrating the bigger, much slower man throughout. While not a big puncher himself at heavyweight, he carries enough sting to slow attempts to rush and overwhelm him. McBride will taste those stinging punches and have no answer. Don’t be surprised to see him bleeding early --- and seeing that bleeding leading to the end of the fight. Adamek wins every minute of every round enroute to a stoppage of his lumbering foe.
PREDICTION: Adamek wins by KO in 7.