Bad Left Hook Fight Previews: Arreola-Adamek and Angulo-Julio

Cristobal Arreola and Tomasz Adamek meet on Saturday night in California. (Photo via Main Events @ Facebook)

"When Brant Colamarino removes his shirt for the first time in an A's minor league locker room he inspires his coaches to inform Billy that "Colarmarino has titties." ... Titties are one of those things that just don't matter in a ballplayer."

--Excerpt from Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

Brant Colamarino never did make it to the big leagues.

Heavyweights, 12 Rounds: Cristobal Arreola v. Tomasz Adamek

What do Cristobal Arreola and Tomasz Adamek have in common?

  • They're both right handed.
  • They're both currently top 10 heavyweights.
  • They both come to fight and generally have entertaining bouts.
  • They both used to be light heavyweights.

Of course, Adamek was a world titlist in professional boxing as a light heavy, while Arreola boxed at that weight as an amateur, but it's something.

Arreola (28-1, 25 KO) and Adamek (40-1, 27 KO) have guaranteed that their Saturday fight will be exciting, rather than one of those heavyweight snoozers you're probably accustomed to sitting through at this point. Of course, Arreola also promised his weight would be in the high 230s or low 240s, and he came in at 250, but Arreola is generally better about providing action than he is watching his figure, so I'm still buying that the fight will be good.

Arreola is also pretty certain that Adamek will run. Well, maybe not "run," but try to avoid prolonged trades of punches. He might be right, and given that Adamek is going to be faster, more accurate, a better boxer, and a lot smaller, it would even be smart. Arreola seems to be indicating that he's prepared for the boxer Adamek, that he's ready to pursue and give chase as much as he has to, to hunt Adamek down and make him eat the shots he'd rather avoid.

But I don't know that it'll go that way. Tomasz Adamek is 33 years old and he likes to fight. His two wars with Paul Briggs never got quite as much love as they should have, and he also had a hell of a fight with Steve Cunningham. When Chad Dawson was dominating him in his last fight at 175 pounds, Adamek stayed in there and nearly pulled a come-from-behind stunner. What I'm saying is that Adamek has never been really great about "fighting smart." He fights. I'm not saying he's Arturo Gatti, but he's got a fighter's mentality. He likes to go on the offensive.

So will Arreola really have to hunt as much as he expects? I don't believe he will, and I believe that will suit Arreola just fine. The big Californian is going to have home turf for this one, though the fight would have drawn its best crowd in New Jersey, where Adamek has proven he can draw a big crowd consistently. But I doubt that'll matter much either. Adamek doesn't strike me as a fighter who gets flustered by crowd response.

This fight isn't nearly as interesting to me as Froch-Kessler, because I can't help but let it enter my mind that no matter who wins this fight, it's just two guys that can't beat the Klitschkos and two guys who David Haye isn't going to fight. (I don't mean to say that Haye is a coward, for the record, but rather that he believes in that long-disgraced trinket he carries, and he'll be tied up in WBA B.S. for a while.)

So what's the end result of this fight? Say Arreola knocks Adamek flat and looks great. Where does he go? Say Adamek gives Arreola a boxing lesson and puts on a great performance, slicing Arreola up like a Christmas ham. Where does he go?

I am interested in this fight purely because of the fight itself, which is sort of weird for me because of my nature to always wonder what's next, where we go from here, how a fight affects both fighters, how it affects the rest of their division. Frankly, this is just two top ten heavyweights fighting because they gotta fight someone, and they both had the sack to just fight each other. Arreola will never beat one of the Klitschkos. Adamek won't either. He's too small.

In a sense, I just don't care that much about this fight. I want to see it, because it should be a really good fight, or at the least exciting, but it doesn't really have much by what I'd consider genuine ramifications. If Arreola loses, he smashes a few more guys and gets right back to where he is now. He's a TV friendly-guy that people like to watch. If Adamek loses, he gave heavyweight a hell of a run, and then he'll consider what his future really is in the division.

Am I not entertained? Give me the big guy by way of being too big in an exciting fight where they both take some heavy shots. Arreola TKO-8

Junior Middleweights, 12 Rounds: Alfredo Angulo v. Joel Julio

You really start thinking about these two fights, and man, you've got a lot of firepower on this HBO card.

This is 12 rounds because it's for that ridiculous interim title that Angulo won in that shamockery fight with Harry Joe Yorgey in December, where referee Johnny Callas damn near let Yorgey get decapitated. Angulo (17-1, 14 KO) has come back well from the loss to Kermit Cintron last year, but he did it against Gabriel Rosado and Yorgey. Rosado, admittedly, is better than his record, and Angulo shredded him. But Yorgey was a no-contest.

Julio (35-3, 31 KO) is a guy I liked a lot (not as much as ESPN.com did, but a lot) but have pretty much given up on personally. He can bang, but there's something about him -- it's almost like he lacks true confidence. He traded with James Kirkland and had his will sapped. I'm not saying James Kirkland is anything to mess with, or that he couldn't sap a lot of guys of their spirit, but it was the way Julio folded his hand. Quintana and Dzinziruk were better boxers than Julio, and that's nothing to be ashamed of.

I do think Julio has a chance here. Angulo seems pouty, and maybe isn't 100% focused on the task at hand, and Julio can hit. If he can catch Angulo early and shake him up, he might be able to score this upset, which would do a lot for his career. He's being brought in as an opponent again, but a win makes him a viable guy at 154 instead of a fringe contender with some remaining and lessening upside. Kirkland did have to wear Julio down, and I think Kirkland is more ferocious and powerful than Angulo is, not that Angulo is lacking in either department. There's also the fact that Angulo is really slow. Chances are Julio and his team have spent a lot of time examining what Kermit Cintron did. If flat-footed Kermit can outbox Angulo, then so can Julio.

But I can't with a right mind pick the upset, either. I figure the most likely scenario is Julio starts out spirited, but finds he can't shake Angulo down too easily, and in the process gets hit plenty himself. If it's a test of who decides enough is enough first, I think that'll be Julio. Angulo TKO-6

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