Saturday, February 5, 2011
Tomasz Adamek to fight April 23
By Dan Rafael
Heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek's fight with Kevin McBride will take place April 23 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., promoter Main Events announced.
Initially Main Events was leaning toward putting on the fight April 16 in Adamek's native Poland. However, after internal discussion they instead elected to remain in Newark, where Adamek, who lives in Jersey City, has become a popular attraction.
The fight, which was finalized Tuesday but without a decision on the specific date or venue, will be carried by Integrated Sports on pay-per-view. The bout is Adamek's final fight before he challenges either heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko or Vitali Klitschko, his fellow title-holding brother, at a still-under-construction soccer stadium in Poland in September.
"There were a lot of things taken into consideration when choosing this fight. Overall though, Tomasz was just more comfortable staying at home for this fight," Main Events promoter Kathy Duva said. "We'll now focus on McBride, and then focus all of our efforts into the big one in September. I think that his fans at Prudential Center will give Tomasz a great send-off to Poland in this fight, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some of them in Poland in September."
Adamek (43-1, 28 KOs) has to beat McBride to preserve the title shot and at least one of the Klitschko brothers also must win an interim fight.
Vitali Klitschko (41-2, 38 KOs) makes a mandatory defense against Odlanier Solis on March 19 in Cologne, Germany. Wladimir Klitschko (55-3, 49 KOs) defends his belts against England's Dereck Chisora on April 30 in Mannheim, Germany.
If one of the Klitschkos lose, Adamek will fight the other one. If they both win, the choice will be up to the Klitschkos, although they have said it would be Wladimir -- unless titleholder David Haye come back to the bargaining table and makes a deal to face Wladimir. In that case, Adamek would face Vitali.
Poland was strongly considered for Adamek-McBride, but ultimately Duva said they decided to stay at his home base in Newark.
"Tomasz and his trainer are happier to stay here for the next fight and I think that our efforts are better spent in Poland publicizing the September fight instead of being distracted with the fight in April," Duva said.
Adamek is taking the tune-up with McBride in order to remain active as well as to gain more experience against a tall heavyweight. McBride is 6-foot-6, about the same height as the Klitschko brothers.
"Tomasz is much better off staying active -- both to sharpen the fighter's skills and to keep his name in the news leading up to the big event," Duva said.
McBride (35-8-1, 29 KOs), born in Ireland and living in Brockton, Mass., is best known for sending Mike Tyson into retirement after knocking him out in the sixth round in June 2005.
Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.