- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
- 0 Shares
Heavyweight contenders Tomasz Adamek and Eddie Chambers, each one fight removed from suffering one-sided knockout losses in world championship fights against a Klitschko brother, have signed to fight each other.
They will meet June 16 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., where Adamek, a native of Poland living in Jersey City, N.J., is a major draw.
The fighters signed contracts on Wednesday and Main Events promoter Kathy Duva announced the fight on Thursday. The scheduled 10-round bout will headline the fourth edition of "Fight Night" on NBC Sports Net, which has an exclusive deal with Main Events.
"This is the kind of competitive pick 'em fight that the NBC Sports Network 'Fight Night' series is all about," Duva said. "We expect that Prudential Center will be a sea of red and white (like the Polish flag) as Adamek makes his first appearance there in over a year. It will be a night of pure excitement and lots of fun. I can't wait."
Said Adamek of his return to his home arena: "For me, the most important part of the fight is to please the boxing fans. At Prudential Center, I always have many fans come to cheer me on. It is very loud, exciting. I think it will be a good show."
Adamek (45-2, 28 KOs), a former cruiserweight and light heavyweight champion, challenged Vitali Klitschko for his heavyweight title in September in Poland and was thrashed before being stopped in the 10th round. Adamek returned to action March 24 on a "Fight Night" undercard and rolled to a near-shutout 10-round decision against Nagy Aguilera.
Adamek badly bruised both of his hands in the bout, but not badly enough to force him from taking the fight with Philadelphia's Chambers (36-2, 18 KOs).
"They say Eddie Chambers has fast hands and likes to throw punches. I am also fast and I like to throw punches," Adamek said. "I think on June 16 we will have a very exciting fight."
Chambers got a title shot against champion Wladimir Klitschko in March 2010 in Germany and was outclassed. Klitschko dished out a brutal beating to Chambers before knocking him out cold with five seconds left in the 12th round.
Chambers took nearly a year off and returned in February 2011 to win a unanimous decision against Derric Rossy in a rematch of a previous victory. But Chambers has not fought since that bout, pulling out of two fights.
He was scheduled to face Tony Thompson, a good friend of his, in a title eliminator in October for the right to become a mandatory challenger for Wladimir Klitschko. But Chambers withdrew, claiming a bad back, although he refused to reschedule in December so he could have ample time to heal.
Chambers was then scheduled to fight former titleholder Sergei Liakhovich in the main event of the inaugural "Fight Night" telecast on Jan. 21. However, Chambers withdrew about a week before the fight with fractured ribs, leaving Main Events to scramble for a new main event.
"I never went away, but once I beat Adamek, I'm right back in the middle of it all," Chambers said. "All respect to Tomasz. He's exciting and has a lot of heart, but I'll be ready for anything."
"Eddie's ribs are healed and he asked for this fight," Duva said.