Tomasz Adamek dedicates heavyweight fight to native Poland
Former world light-heavyweight and cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek has dedicated his Saturday night heavyweight bout against Riverside's Cris Arreola in Ontario to the late president of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, and all countrymen affected by the tragic plane crash that killed the president and 95 others earlier this month.
"Before this tragedy, I was invited to a breakfast with the president after this fight," Adamek said Monday at San Manuel Indian Casino in Highland, as he promoted his bout against Arreola, which will be fought at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. "He loved fighting.
"Obviously, it was a very big tragedy. I voted for him, my whole family did. You have to now put this away from your mind, and, me being a religious person, that helps, to focus on the task at hand. If I didn't have that, I don't think I could've continued training, or even take this fight. But getting into despair will not help us. You can only cry and pray for so long. This was an act of God. I hope people understand this is my job, and this is what I must do.
"We're Polish, we're strong, we go on."
Adamek's words have meaning. A group of friends invited him to take a short trip to New Jersey recently, then perished in a small plane crash, and a group of 30 supporters who wanted to attend Saturday's bout on HBO have now been stranded in Poland due to the volcanic activity in Iceland.
Adamek (40-1, 27 KOs) is seeking to become the first man to win world titles at the three heaviest weight classes. He has fought twice at heavyweight and now confronts a younger, fitter Arreola (28-1, 25 KOs), vowing to produce an impressive victory seven months after he was reduced to post-fight tears in his Staples Center loss to heavyweight champ Vitali Klitschko.
"I've prepared for the best possible Cris Arreola," Adamek said.
When Adamek was asked why he's moved up in weight, his co-trainer Roger Bloodworth cracked, "Hunger," a reference to Adamek's routine of dropping 15 pounds to fight at cruiserweight. He expects to weigh in the 220s versus Arreola, who could weigh in around 243 pounds.
"I was looking for challenges," Adamek, 33, said. "I got the championship at cruiserweight. There were no challenges left for me. My life is about challenges."
His promoter, Kathy Duva, said Adamek's union with respected trainer Ronnie Shields in Houston, along with the fact that he's slightly taller than Arreola with a longer reach make the possibility of a slight upset strong, even if Arreola has the hometown crowd's support.
"I believe God gives you power, this is how I draw my strength," Adamek said. "I feel I have the gift of God."
A victory will leave Saturday's winner poised to land a heavyweight title fight. The Ontario fight card, with tickets remaining at prices ranging from $35 to $250, also includes bouts featuring Covina's lightweight John Molina Jr. (18-1) and East Los Angeles' former Olympian super-middleweight Shawn Estrada (6-0). The co-main event is a WBO interim junior-middleweight title bout between Coachella's Alfredo Angulo (17-1, 14 KOs) and Colombia's Joel Julio (35-3, 31 KOs).
-- Lance Pugmire