The outcome was something of a certainty when heavyweight veteran Andrew Golota, with his attendant heavy-duty mental baggage and track record of mental meltdowns before, during and after big bouts, weighed in Friday at a career-high 256 pounds, while Polish rival Tomasz Adamek clocked in at 214 pounds.
The massive weight disparity meant that Adamek would likely have an easier time using his feet to get himself out of the way of Golota's bombs, which had 41-years of wear and tear on them, but nevertheless could conceivably prove a shock to the system of a boxer used to campaigning in the cruiserweight division. And so it went—Adamek knocked Golota to the mat in rounds one and again in the fifth and final frame, before finishing off the massively popular Pole via referee intercession at Atlas Arena in Lodz on Saturday.
The stoppage, of the fight, and one could lobby persuasively, Golota's career, came at 1:49 of the fifth, after the bigger man absorbed shot after shot, and wasn't able to defend himself adequately.
With the win, Adamek (39-1, with 27 KOs) wrested the baton of popularity of the hands of Golota (41-8-5), who has rivaled the Pope over there. The Polish king of prizefighters, after a wild reign, finally succumbed to the obvious plotter, time, and the new leader of the pugilistic cause in Poland accepted the crowds unofficial ceremonial crowning in classy, low-key fashion.
The last round knockdown was off a one-two, with a left hook thrown in there for good measure as Golota was already on the way to the floor. He chewed on about sixty shots, and offered a couple in weak reply, before Bill Clancy saw enough. The knockdown in the first round, with 48 seconds to go in the round, was off a right hand. Golota popped up, and smiled ruefully. Soon after a cut appeared over his right eye.
All in all, Golota earned his paycheck, showing a willingness to rumble, but he was in over his head, against a swifter, more hungry hitter, from minute one.
Here are some postfight statements:
From Tomasz Adamek:
“I will never forget this moment, fighting in front of almost 17 thousand Polish fans against a Polish legend that went through many great battles. It was a meaningful night for me.
“By beating Andrew Golota I made a statement about my power. I wanted to show how good I can be as a heavyweight. I got hit couple of times pretty hard, but I was never in danger. Looks like my iron chin will work for me in a higher weight class also.
“I never treat any fight as something personal and it was the same this time. I did not plan to knock Golota out, it was not my intention. After the first knockdown, I knew I could hit him at will. I paced myself in round 2 and 3, waiting for the right moment to up my tempo. Trainer Andrew Gmitruk was telling me to not get too cocky. I remembered this every minute I was in the ring. It was not easy win, regardless of the outcome. I had to be careful not to get hit by this powerful 260 pound man. It worked.
“I hope I proved tonight to everybody, that I can be 215 pounds and be effective as a heavyweight. But my foes in the cruiserweight division should not be too happy yet. If the major television outlets will offer great fights, I will be back and knock out those guys too.”
Asked about future plans; “I will go back to the U.S. in couple of days, maybe enjoy myself for couple of weeks and then eagerly await the next challenge. It’s in my nature not to be lazy for too long. I love my home, wife and two daughters, but after a while I miss the ring. I want to thank everybody who believed in my skills and determination. I never had a doubt about the outcome of this fight. I want also to thank Andrzej for accepting this fight. He helped me realize my dream of becoming a heavyweight.”
Andrew Gmitruk was not surprised by exceptional performance of his pupil. “I knew this fight would look this way. To be honest, after the first knockdown, this fight was over. It was just question of time.”
“Adamek will use every weakness of his opponent so mercilessly. It was painful to watch. Tomek used Golota’s slowness to do exactly what we were talking about in training. Tomek hit Golota with lot of body shots, and just peppered him with combinations when Golota was getting tired. Adamek was very calm and composed.”
“I think this is the biggest change in his style of fighting - he picks when to attack in the best possible moments, never leaving his rival chance to react, he is not going into unnecessary brawls. We were working on this, but I’m not sure this is something you can teach. He just has it” – said Gmitruk. “Golota wanted to tear Adamek’s head off, and was not pacing himself. He fought exactly like we thought he would.”
Kathy Duva, Adamek Promoter:
“It wasn’t just that Tomasz Adamek knocked out Andrew Golota, it was the way he did it! Watch the highlights. He showed power and speed, he showed he has a heavyweight punch and incredible combinations. Adamek made a statement. And from the texts I started getting directly after the fight, the boxing world is taking notice!”
“We are going to assess all of our options in the coming weeks. Basically we are interested in the most money we can make. We have cruiserweight options and we now have heavyweight options. I couldn’t be happier for Tomasz.”
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV