In a press release from Main Events, Tomasz Adamek, his trainer Roger Bloodworth, and promoter Kathy Duva all commented on the atmosphere in Poland and Adamek's preparation for his September 10 fight with WBC heavyweight titlist Vitali Klitschko.
"Anyone who fights Klitschko is considered an underdog," said Duva, who has seen Adamek rise to the status of a top draw in New Jersey, and the flagship fighter of her company.
"If you talk to any of the cab drivers in Poland, they believe Tomasz is the favorite. I think it’s wonderful to be the underdog. Tomasz is kind of back to where he was when he fought Cunningham, he doesn’t have the pressure, the champ does. Everyone in Poland is picking Tomasz to win! It’s so much fun to be here."
"The whole country believes in me," added Adamek. "It’s very important to me. I know they say I am not the favorite, but in Poland I will have millions cheering for me."
The main concern, beyond Klitschko's talent, is his huge size advantage. At over 6'7" with an 80" reach and generally weighing around 250 pounds, Klitschko will tower over Adamek, a former light heavyweight titlist and cruiserweight champion. Adamek stands 6'1", with a 75" reach, and has weighed around 215 pounds on the scales for his heavyweight run.
"The last three fights Tomasz fought were with tall guys," said Bloodworth. "I think we learned a lot from those."
Now, this isn't entirely true. Adamek's last three fights have been against faded American Michael Grant (6'7"), club fighter Vinny Maddalone (6'2") and a totally shot Kevin McBride (6'6"). Adamek stopped Maddalone in five, but obviously comparing Maddalone to Klitschko just in terms of size is a really big stretch. Grant and McBride both went the distance with Adamek, and Grant made Adamek uncomfortable a few times.
And neither of those big men are near Klitshcko's level.
But Adamek remains undeterred. "Every training camp I get a little better and I learn a little more. Roger is a good teacher. This training camp was a very good, we trained 10 weeks. First two weeks we did conditioning and then we went to Pennsylvania for boxing. We worked on my speed, speed is power. I’m looking every place I can to hit him. My heart is good, my spirit is good. Size is not so important in the ring. Heart is important."
"I believe you have to have the right frame of mind to get in the ring. I know how to beat Vitali. I know that he will be expecting somebody who will be intimidated, even scared, but this will not be the case for me. He will not get a fighter standing in front of him, waiting for execution and payday. He will get somebody with no fear and the will and skills to win. This will be deciding factor on September 10."
Klitschko vs Adamek will air on HBO on September 10.