Today's WBC heavyweight title fight between Vitali Klitschko and Tomasz Adamek is the rare opportunity to get a live fight on Saturday afternoon on U.S. television. Here are the quick details before we jump into the staff picks:
Fight time: 4:45 p.m. EDT
Location: Stadion Miejski - Wroclaw, Poland
TV channel: HBO (United States), Sky Sports 3 (United Kingdom), RTL (Germany), Pay-Per-View (Poland)
Odds: Klitschko is around a -700 favorite for the fight, with Adamek a +450 underdog. More on the odds here.
It's hard to see Klitschko having too many problems with Adamek, as the former cruiserweight champion is not nearly quick, or elusive enough, to make up for the tremendous size disadvantage he'll be facing. If Adamek plays it safe and stays at long range, he'll lose a lopsided decision on the cards - if he attacks and goes for it, he's very likely going to get knocked out.
Adamek is a good fighter and a tough one but the size and reach advantages Klitschko holds are too great for him to contend with. The only way Adamek can win is on points or through injury, he hasn't the power to trouble Vitali. I can see the Pole using a lot of lateral movement, trying to catch Vitali with quick flurries before getting out of range. He may have some early successes but it's very hard to sustain those tactics for twelve rounds against someone who is going to use their size and strength to drain you of energy.
I can't see anything other than a Klitschko win, with the knockout most likely coming sometime after the sixth round.
(More on this Fight: Bad Left Hook Radio for Sept. 9)
Klitschko wins this one going away. We all like Adamek. Everyone admires his toughness, his dedication, his fighting spirit. But he's not good enough to overcome the size here. He's simply going to find himself out of his depth quickly, and despite this feeling that he's going to let it all hang out and go out on his shield, I don't see it happening. If Vitali presses, he could stop Adamek any time starting in the fifth round. But Vitali won't take unnecessary risks because the fight is going to be that easy for him.
Adamek can talk up his speed, but it's not really special speed, even for a heavyweight. I can't help but remember the Michael Grant fight, when Adamek was pretty easily backed down at times. I expect Adamek to eventually go into survival mode like most guys do against the Klitschkos. Adamek is a good fighter, and a good heavyweight. This is a bridge too far. Klitschko is a great heavyweight, and outside of him getting injured, I cannot see Adamek beating Vitali. I think we're all rooting for him to do well and make a fight of it, though, and I doubt he loses any fans today.