By Bobby Mac
Tomasz “Goral” Adamek is the former two division champion stepping up to his 3rd division in a bid to win a heavyweight title. A win over former challenger Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola guarantees him a title shot within a year. Arreola is in a similar circumstance, hungry for another crack at the title and a win over Adamek would open the doors for him.
Goral is Polish for Highlander, a reference to the region where Adamek was raised, but it also connotes an exotic coolness of temperament which describes the Adamek approach to boxing to a T. With a 40-1 career record at age 33 and seemingly in his prime as a boxer, he’s near becoming a legend in boxing that he already is in Poland.
Tomasz can box some, brawl a little, fight inside or out with a little slugging thrown in as his 27 KO victims can attest, but he is never locked into one style, and he’s in no hurry to get anything done. His offense just flows to him when the moment is right, and if he has to take a few steps back, cover on the ropes and take some time off, hey, no big deal to take a rest and reset. He’s smart, patient, and he has an innate fighting sense of which adjustments to make to figure out how to beat very good fighters.
Arreola has the fire to light up Adamek’s coolness, though. He’s an highly charged come forward busy brawler/slugger looking for a trade, a nightmare if you can’t fight him off. At age 29 with a 28-1 record with an 86% KO ratio, he is used to getting his way in the ring and has also become a fan favorite in Southern California, so this donnybrook will be in his stompin’ grounds, a distinct advantage.
Arreola is also the natural heavyweight here, making his debut at 236lbs and at a high of 263 lbs his last bout against the outgunned Brian Minto. Reportedly he’s been in his hardest training camp ever and looking at 240s come weigh-in. We shall see, but he’s sure to have some 20-30lbs on Adamek who’s slated to come in under 220, so while size as measured in bulk may favor Arreola, it’s not clear who will have the advantage in physical strength given that Arreola is prone to corpulence and Adamek’s large frame will be all lean muscle.
Adamek will be the faster fighter of hand and foot, but Arreola has proven to have an excellence sense of timing and surprising quickness for such a bulky man. They are both offensively oriented fighters, so expect the leather to be flying in this one.
The fight won’t be about size, strength, and speed advantages, it will be about style and temperament contrast with only two common denominators, both liking to fight and able to take a good crack to the chin with neither ever being stopped before. What’s more is each style is so unique that neither can find a sparring partner to replicate their styles.
So many unknowns and intangibles in this one, so which style best maximizes the attributes of each fighter to overcome the other?
We don’t know the definitive answer to that, but I’m guessing the oddsmakers will make Adamek the slight favorite. I also favor Adamek, but this is really the kind of fight that could go either way. An early KO is possible, but I’m thinking the fight enters the later rounds where stamina will play a role. Arreola has never kept the pace at this high level and Adamek has never had to beat down such a big, strong, dangerous fighter as Arreola.
It’s gonna be a corker, so best stay tuned and sober for this one.