Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Walker a far stiffer test for Adamek
By Michael Woods
Tomasz Adamek is a heavy-duty draw in New Jersey, his second homeland, and the pole will once again glove up at the Prudential Center in front of rabid rooters on Sept. 8 (2 p.m. start time).
A couple months ago, it looked like he'd be meeting the beyond-grizzled vet James Toney in a heavyweight clash. But that trial balloon crashed, so Travis Walker will get the assignment instead.
Russell Peltz, the promoter who works as matchmaker and advisor to Main Events. On Sept. 30, he will celebrate 43 years in the business. Peltz is happy that Toney won't be part of the card. "I thanked my lucky stars when the Toney-Adamek fight fell out," said the Philadelphian Peltz, who entered the Hall of Fame in 2004. The Jersey Commission, Peltz said, initially gave a thumbs up to Toney, who turns 44 on Friday, and hasn't definitively won a meaningful scrap since 2003, but then back-tracked. "Thank God," Peltz cracked. Pundits savaged an Adamek-Toney tussle, and voila, we get Walker, a 33-year-old Floridian who is coming off a decent win (TKO6), against Kali Meehan in March. "Even if Toney could hang some with Adamek, I don't think he should be fighting at all. Where will the people who gave him a license be in 20 years, when he has deteriorated? I feel the same way about Roy Jones. If they're going to get licensed, let it be on someone elses' show."
Peltz says that Walker will press Adamek (46-2 with 28 KOs; turns 36 in December; ex light heavy champ) , and that pair will put on a better show than Adamek did against Eddie Chambers, back at the Pru on June 16.
Adamek won a UD12, in a fight I could have seen going to Chambers, who fought almost the whole fight with a useless left arm after tearing his bicep in round one. "With the beating Adamek took against Vitali Klitschko in September 2011, maybe he's not the same. Walker is talking good. And it's a better fight than people think," Peltz said.
I agree. Just because Walker (39-7-1) has seven losses on his ledger, that doesn't mean he isn't of a decent caliber. (Don't get Peltz started on know-nothing TV execs who, in years past, have cautioned him not to use this guy or that because he has a few losses on his resume.)
I asked Peltz about the longer-term plan for Adamek. Is he aiming for a another Klitschko fight? "Well, that's where the money is," he said. "I guess it depends on how long the Klitschkos stick around. If he does [fight Klitschko], I hope he has a better fight plan. To fight him from the outside is insane. First, he has to get by Walker."