NEAR WROCLAW, IN DUKEOUT DREAMLAND - Sooner or later, there will be another great heavyweight championship fight.
It's already much later than it should have been, long past the meltdown stage of too late type territory.
Whether that much needed current classic comes down in Wroclaw, Poland when Vitali Klitschko, 42-2 (39), defends his WBC belt against Tomasz Adamek, 44-1 (28), is just one of many questions about an event that could add even more luster to an area of the globe that has seen an upswing in industry and prestige. If the result of Vitali-Adamek is good, it will be another boost to a solid boxing scene around here.
There seems to be more of a buzz around Klitschko - Adamek, even in Germany, than there was for Wladimir - Haye. The answer to whether or not Vitali-Adamek could be better than Wlad-Haye is a similar question: Could it be any worse?
Actually, there wasn't that much disappointment over Wlad - Haye, which ended up being an easier ticket to find than Wlad - Ruslan Chagaev. By now, most folks in the general Germany expect that the Klitschkos will put up, and whoever they're fighting will shut up.
K2's TV ratings remain huge here. The Klitschkos are very popular, though there has been slight but noticeable declining attendance at live gates while ticket prices have remained unchanged. Remember we're talking giant stadiums and tens of thousands of fans. The reason there was so much open space at Wlad-Haye, beside the horrible rain, was probably that the locals figured out Wlad had nothing to fear before he did.
Is the reason boxing is so popular in this part of the world because most fans, across neighboring EU borders, get broadcasts in basic TV packages at no extra charge?
Almost certainly. It's the equivalent of those long ago US network afternoons. This year's model usually employs a much later starting time, usually after the finish of football/soccer. That's a very powerful lead-in.
Even if the bouts are less than stellar, the effect on the general public, by my estimate well over tenfold of US percentages; is the equivalent of watching a weak late night movie. No harm, no foul, no ripped-off feeling from pay-per-view garbage.
Could Vitali - Adamek be a very good fight for as long as it lasts?
Quite likely. Probably the shorter the fight, the better the action.
Could it be as exciting as Vitali - Lennox Lewis ? Wishful thinking to me, but Klitschko could get a similar type cut from the same type roundhouse punches and that would mean high drama.
Any way it could it be another "Thrilla in Manilla"?
Not in this lifetime, my friend.
Will Vitali-Adamek sell out?
It seems like it already has, not counting expensive resale outlets, but I've found that appearances like that can totally change once you get into the country where the event actually takes place. That said, any fight at this brand new, 40,000 capacity stadium in a very revitalized part of Poland, built for next year's European football championships; would sell out if either principal was involved. With both, if it ain't booked now you probably aren't going.
Should Klitschko be worried?
Been there too many times.
Should Adamek be worried?
How can he not be?
Is it crunch time for Adamek?
One way or another. Win or lose, it's the last stop on his well-executed quest for a meaningful heavyweight title tilt.
What should Adamek do in the fight?
What he shouldn't do is stand still.
If 6'1 1/2 Adamek fights small, a la Shannon Briggs and Samuel Peter, he gets stopped or run out of the ring inside the distance, maybe even half the distance. If he fights like he did against Chris Arreola, who he outhustled and out popped, though not by much, it will just be a matter of how wide the margin on the scorecards is.
We'll never know what would have happened if Odlanier Solis's knee held up, because it didn't. Still, Solis seemed to be on the right track both in darting game plan and attitude. Adamak has those strengths, and that's what it will take. Get in and get out, without paying. Near impossible against the 6'7 1/2 Klitschko lately, and seemingly harder with every frame.
If Adamek fights exactly like he did against Andrew Golota, he has a realistic chance at finding Vitali's chin with the arc of an overhand right. Trouble for Adamek is, Klitschko is no Golota. It will take a perfect shot to drop him.
What should Klitschko do?
What he shouldn't do is get frustrated if Adamek has any early success.
Barring circumstances, if Klitschko gets tagged and immediately loads up for a KO too early, try and get a last second bet down on Adamek. But if Klitschko keeps counterpunching he should have no deep worries.
So does Adamek have a shot?
Yes. It could be very competitive inside, and competitive inside scoring gives the underdog his best chance.
It seems like Adamek has the best chance of defeating Klitschko since his comeback fight against Peter.
Does that say something about a sorry state of the heavyweight division?
Leave that to the Sweet Science Universe.
Is Klitschko past his prime?
In awesome condition at 40 years old, Klitschko may not have hit his prime yet. A sub-par Klitschko looked ready to be taken against Kevin Johnson, but still won every round. Against Albert Sosnowski it appeared Klitschko was aging backward, and he didn't show any fading in his few moments versus Solis.
What are realistic odds on the fight?
Five to one in favor of Klitschko, unless he turns old in the ring, and even then he's at least a two to one favorite.
This is a fight where both the winner and the quality of the whole fight will be clear by round two. If Klitschko lands a sweeping shot to the arm that moves Adamek a yard sideways where he then gets shoved to a knee, then it might as well be over and you might as well get a beer.
If 22 year old Adamek lands more than a grazing combination in the first minute, get ready.
If Adamek lands a few left-right clips in the first round, we've hit oil baby.
Will there be a splattering highlight film knockout?
As long as no one gets hurt, I pray so.
The best man, of course. That still looks like Klitschko.
And hopefully, everyone both faithful and crazy enough to believe there's at least another Marciano-Walcott, Spinks- Holmes or Holyfield-Dokes out there soon.