Sure, Tomasz Adamek was only fighting a faded 41-year-old Andrew Golota, but he looked terrific in his move up to heavyweight Saturday. The cruiserweight champ, outweighed by 42 pounds, took it to Golota from the outset and laid a beating on him in Lodz, Poland, en route to a fifth-round TKO in the most heavily hyped fight in Polish history.
Adamek scored two knockdowns -- in the first round and in the fifth round -- before unloading on the helpless Golota to force the stoppage later in the fifth round.
While Golota (41-8-1, 33 KOs) is surely finished at this point with yet another nonperformance in a big fight, Adamek is fighting very well right now. The best thing for him is that he has options. He can stay at heavyweight or return to cruiserweight to defend the lineal title. Is there a future fight with Wladimir Klitschko or Vitali Klitschko in his future? Both Klitschkos were willing to give former cruiserweight champ David Haye a shot until he punked out against both of them. Why not Adamek? Perhaps a fight with the winner of the Roy Jones-Bernard Hopkins rematch at cruiserweight?
Adamek (39-1, 27 KOs) and his promoter, Kathy Duva of Main Events, will weigh the options. They won't make any rash decisions; rather, they'll see where they can make the biggest fight for the most money.
Adamek likely will return to fight in his adopted home base of Newark, N.J., in early February, but in which division he'll box hasn't been determined. Here's some of what Adamek and his team had to say after the victory:
• On the magnitude of the fight: "I will never forget this moment, fighting in front of almost 17,000 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."
• On scoring the knockout: "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."
• On fighting as a heavyweight: "I hope I proved 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."
• On his future: "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 Andrew for accepting this fight. He helped me realize my dream of becoming a heavyweight."
• Here's some of what Gmitruk had to say about his pupil after the victory:
"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. Tomasz used Golota's slowness to do exactly what we were talking about in training. Tomasz hit Golota with a 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 a 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. Golota wanted to tear Adamek's head off and was not pacing himself. He fought exactly like we thought he would."
• Here's what Duva thought of her company's franchise fighter:
"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."