Adamek Outworks Grant! Wins Tough 12 Round Decision...
August 21, 2010 - Prudential Center, Newark, NJ Ringside
Report: Kurt Wolfheimer at Ringside
Photo: Ed Mulholland
Before a raucous crowd of enthusiastic Polish fans at the Prudential Center in Newark New Jersey, Tomas "Goral" Adamek (42-1, 27 KOs) won a hard-fought twelve round unanimous decision victory over former world title challenger "Big" Michael Grant to retain the IBF International belt and to capture the vacant NABO heavyweight title.
The bout wasn't necessarily about the titles, but more to prove to the world that the six foot one and a half inch tall Adamek could stay in there and swap punches with a big heavyweight similar to the height of the Klitschko brothers and Grant was a good "measuring stick" at six foot seven inches.
With the victory, Adamek is potentially in line for a lucrative and highly anticipated world title shot against one of the vaunted Klitschko brothers.
Entering the ring in front of a near sellout pro-Adamek crowd, Grant looked confident and determined. Moments later Adamek entered to a deafening roar from the 10,972 fans in attendance.
As the fighters moved to the center of the ring, it was immediately obvious to even those in the nosebleed section that Grant towered over the much smaller Adamek.
Adamek was cautious in the opening minute, as he poked with jabs and single shots, bobbing and weaving his way in and out of punching range. Grant had his right hand cocked, but had trouble landing his jabs to set it up. Adamek forced him to back up as he jumped in with two-punch combinations, using his superior hand speed. In the closing seconds, Grant did land a telling blow on the inside, which appeared to shake Adamek who clinched and tackled Grant as the bell sounded.
Adamek nearly went through the ropes. "I don't know what happened," said Grant afterward. "I think I hurt him and he grabbed me. I fell down and he fell through the ropes and the bell rung. I thought, what happened?"
Adamek took control in the rounds two through four, using his shorter size to duck under and bounce combinations on the inside as Grant missed his jabs. The former cruiserweight champion, jumped in and out at will with little landing in return. Grant looked somewhat befuddled as he rarely let go of the right hand and when he did, it sailed over the head of Adamek.
Finally in the fifth Grant began to double up and put some oomph in his jabs, which slowed the attacks of Adamek. Both fighter began to trade attacks in a give and take round as each looked for ring supremacy. Adamek's constant diving in with a rapid one-two punch combination and either clinching or moving out of punching range continued to frustrate Grant in the sixth as he was rarely letting his right hand go.
When Grant finally did connect with a heavy shot, Adamek immediately fired back with a strong combination. In the closing seconds of the sixth, Grant connected with a big right which opened a cut over the left eye of Adamek. Grant was bleeding from his mouth from the sixth on but the few shots that Grant landed were doing their damage as Adamek's face began to puff up.
Adamek continued to move in and out, mixing in straight lefts and combinations in rounds seven though nine. In the seventh another cut, this time over the right eye from a left hook appeared on the face of the champion.
Adamek seemed to tire in the ninth as Grant landed a few clean right hands up top. Adamek returned fire afterward, but they weren't doing the same damage that they produced earlier.
Grant continued to let his hands go. Like many of the previous rounds, Grant landed his big right in the closing seconds. In the post-fight conference, Grant commented that Adamek tired in the ninth afterward: "I cut the ring off well and it took a toll on him as he had to work so hard to stay away."
In the tenth, Adamek circled away from his opponent while Grant tried to lunge in with a heavy handed right. Grant did land one or two although glancing rights.
In the eleventh Grant again went back on the attack with a couple good one-two's. Both fighters began to trade heavy leather in the middle of the round, but Adamek eventually moved out of punching range although he stepped in to connect with an overhand right in the closing seconds.
The crowd went into a frenzy as the twelfth and final round began. Adamek, cut above both eyes, looked exhausted. On the other side of the ring, Grant moved forward with bad intentions. Midway into the round, Grant connected with his biggest punch of the fight, a right hand on the side of Adamek's face. Adamek seemed stunned and went on the retreat. Grant went after him as Adamek held on.
Once out of the clinch, Grant seemed to let him rest for about ten seconds and Adamek clinched again. Grant swung away in the closing seconds, but Adamek ducked and avoided most of the impact from the shots. Adamek seemed dead tired, but swung and clinched as the bell sounded.
"I knew I had him hurt (In the middle of the twelfth round), but he kept running," said Grant. "Sometimes you don't want to go in and get caught with a punch. Sometimes you have to control yourself when you chase somebody like Adamek.
All three judges saw the bout in favor of Adamek by scores of 117-111, 118-110 and 118-111.
"The only thing that Adamek brought to me, which I already knew was the speed and the movement and the ability to get out of the way, in and out with combinations. He put on a good show tonight and came out victorious," said Grant during the post-fight interview. "I have nothing to hold my head down about. I felt fresh the whole fight and wish it could have gone fifteen rounds and I might have won. I knew I was wearing him down. I saw him in the corner (after the eleventh round). He had a melancholy type look and I looked at him like I am coming brother. I am coming. I take my hat off to him. He is a tough guy.
"He did frustrate me though," admitted Grant. "Every time I went to sit down on my right hand, he was gone. It was like a cat and mouse game." "I think it would be a good matchup between me and one of the Klitschkos. I am a big heavyweight but I am not looking to fight anyone that is less than two hundred and twenty pounds."
At the post-fight press conference, Adamek said: "I was well prepared. Michael was tall at six foot seven. My conditioning was set to go twelve rounds. Michael is a strong man but he never hurt me in the twelve rounds. I felt I won every round."