Cruiserweight champ Adamek right at home in heavyweight division
He would like to tell you that he has long pined for the opportunity to face one of the Klitschko brothers. Because he has. Really. Like most in boxing, Adamek has watched
He would like to tell you all those things. But the simple truth is that Adamek, the reigning IBF cruiserweight champion, is campaigning at heavyweight because his body won't let him fight anywhere else.
As a cruiserweight, Adamek was without peer. With superior hand speed and uncanny power, Adamek quickly rose to the top of the division after moving up from light heavyweight in 2007. His fights were both entertaining and decisive. In 2008, Adamek floored then-IBF champ
But even as Adamek was winning in the ring, he was fighting a losing battle with his body outside of it. Adamek would slump in his locker after each fight, his depleted body ravaged from the weight being unnaturally drained from him. Doctors had warned him of this. They presented Adamek with blood tests that showed his body was not functioning at full capacity. They warned that every pound he lost getting down to the 200-pound cruiserweight limit would make him less efficient as a boxer
So Adamek made a choice. He was a cruiserweight no more.
It wasn't an easy decision. Adamek had been chasing
"I was dropping 10, sometimes 20 pounds before fights the last few years," Adamek said in a telephone interview. "It was unnatural. I just couldn't do it."
Last October, Adamek made his heavyweight debut against countryman and former title challenger
"When you are fighting guys that are 260 [pounds], you come to the ring with a different [mind-set]," Adamek said. "With my speed and the number of punches I throw per round, I knew I would be successful. That's the thing -- guys are bigger in this division, but you don't have to put them down with one punch."
"No," Adamek said. "No amount of money will bring me back."
Duva, who shepherded the career of the last cruiserweight-to-heavyweight star,
"If you look at the great heavyweights in history, a lot of them weighed the same as Tomasz," Duva told SI.com. "
Any discussion about the heavyweight division has to include the Klitschkos, and Duva says she has been offered fights against both brothers. But, wisely, she says she will give Adamek time to acclimate himself to his new division before putting him in that position. Should he beat Estrada, Duva has already accepted a deal for Adamek to face
Adamek, for his part, is eager for a shot at a world title.
"I'm a very tough guy from Poland," Adamek said. "I know how hard heavyweights hit. I'm not afraid. I'm never afraid. I know my experience and I trust myself."