Tomasz Adamek and Chris “The Nighmare Arreola cordially greeted each other inside a steakhouse at the San Manuel Casino during the final press conference.
“Let the best man win, was the worse that Poland’s Adamek could muster.
Come Saturday night expect a lot worse than that when Adamek (40-1, 27 KOs) and Arreola (28-1, 25 KOs) clash at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California. The fight card includes Alfredo “Perro Angulo and Joel Julio. The two fights will be shown on HBO.
“He’s one of the best fighters out there, said Arreola of Adamek.
Adamek’s history has shown that he avoids no one in the ring. Others may talk a big game and say they’ll fight anybody, but ultimately they change their tune. Not this guy, he’s for real.
“He gets upset if we don’t give him someone difficult, said Kathy Duva, president of Main Events that promotes Adamek. “He gets embarrassed if he’s not fighting someone really tough.
If you look at his record it’s obvious that he prefers dangerous opponents, not pushovers. Since 2005 he’s only had two relatively easy fights out of 13 where someone could say the opponent had no chance of winning.
“He really doesn’t like fighting easy fights, Duva said.
Nothing comes easy for the former light heavyweight and cruiserweight world titleholder whose only loss came against Chad Dawson. Even convincing American promoters that he could fight the best and draw a crowd was a tough sell.
Every time Adamek fights on the Eastern Seaboard the red and white Polish flags come out and thousands of Polish fans arrive to support the man who came out from the cold.
“They really love him, said Duva. “He can’t walk down the street in certain sections of New Jersey or New York without people running up to him.
That may change on Saturday. For the first time Adamek fights on the West Coast and though there is a Polish community his usual strong support are not expected to arrive this time. Will that make a difference?
“The volcano changed everything, said Duva about the eruption of a volcano in Iceland that has forced the cancellation of numerous commercial flights all over Europe including Poland. Also the terrible tragedy that took the lives of Poland’s president and many government officials and citizens of that country. “It really has affected him.
Arreola on the other hand is fighting mere minutes away from his home in Riverside, California. It’s the second time he’s fighting in the arena and he also trained in his hometown.
Arreola is much like Adamek; he doesn’t want easy fights.
“I like to fight, said Arreola. “When I’m in the ring I’m happy. This is what I like to do.
Poland’s Adamek is a wrecking machine who crashed his way to both light heavyweight and cruiserweight world titles. He’s faced every challenge presented to him.
“He has the advantage over me, Arreola says about Adamek’s world title experience. “He’s already been there and done that.
Despite Adamek’s grizzled appearance, he’s a very cordial person who might be labeled shy.
“He really is a personable kind of person once you get to know him, said Duva. “He has a good sense of humor.
Except, of course, when he’s inside the boxing ring.
“I realize how tough Chris Arreola is. It gives me natural motivation, said Adamek whose last win came against heavyweight Jason Estrada in February. “The tougher it goes the better I am.
Nobody questions Adamek’s ring toughness that has been tested numerous times against Johnathon Banks, Steve Cunningham, O’Neil Bell and Andrew Golota, they only question his ability to stand up to Arreola’s crushing punches.
“There’s now way he can stand in front of Chris Arreola and win, said Ashanti Jordan, a heavyweight from San Francisco who sparred with Arreola for several weeks.
Still, questions remain if Arreola can beat a former world champion like Adamek.
“Chris has to use his jab to work inside and be effective, said Fres Oquendo, a perennial heavyweight contender with vast experience against top flight prizefighters. “If he can do that he will dictate the fight. He’s very strong.
Arreola respects Adamek’s grit, experience and hunger to exceed.
“I take nothing away from him as a fighter. He won championships in two different divisions, said Arreola who despite his new cars, house and money in the bank, yearns for a heavyweight world title. “I’m still hungry man.
Mexico’s Alfredo “Perro Angulo (17-1, 14 KOs) faces a stern test in Colombia’s knockout artist Joel Julio (35-3, 31 KOs) on the co-main event.
“We’re both pretty good brawlers so it’s going to be a good fight for fans, said Angulo who has built up a fan base in Southern California. “He stands in front and I stand in front.
Angulo and Julio are fighting for the number one spot in the WBO junior middleweight rankings.
Julio said he has several advantages over Angulo.
“I can fight inside or outside and I can change my game to whatever works, said Julio who trained in Deerfield, Florida for this fight. “He’s strong and hits hard, but it doesn’t matter to me. With good boxing I can win this fight.
For tickets or information call (909) 244-5600. Prices begin at $35.
Fights on television
Thurs. Fox 7 p.m., Enrique Ornelas (29-6) vs. Julius Fogle (15-3).
Fri. Fox Espanol, 10 p.m., Mauricio Herrera (13-1) vs. Efren Hinojosa (30-7-1).
Sat. Fox 7 p.m., Jorge Arce (53-6-1) vs. Cecilio Santos (24-13-3).
Sat. Showtime, 9 p.m., Carl Froch (26-0) vs. Mikkel Kessler (42-2).
Sat. HBO, 11:15 p.m., Chris Arreola (28-1) vs. Tomasz Adamek (40-1).