Katie, bar the door. HBO confirmed today that the rumored April 24 heavyweight clash between Cristobal Arreola and Tomasz Adamek is official, and the two will headline from Ontario, California.
Arreola (28-1, 25 KO) lost his first pro fight last year to Vitali Klitschko, a brutally one-sided affair that was stopped after 10 rounds. Adamek (40-1, 27 KO) has gone 2-0 since moving up to heavyweight last year, after years campaigning at light heavyweight and winning the world cruiserweight championship in a seven-fight run in that division.
Both are known as two of the more action-driven and exciting heavyweight fighters in the world today, and sparks will be expected to fly in this one. The fight will be 12 rounds, and one would think one of the major sanctioning bodies would try to get an eliminator tag on this one. If not, both have minor trinket belts in their collections at the moment.
Adamek, 33, came up in weight last October for a fight against fellow Polish superstar Andrew Golota, whom he dispatched of easily, and then fought again in February against former U.S. Olympian Jason Estrada, who troubled a fatigued Adamek late in the bout. That must have been a sight for sore eyes for the Arreola camp, as the bruising Mexican-American is a far harder puncher than Estrada.
Conditioning will be the focus of the fight. Arreola promised after being routed by Klitschko that he'd take training more seriously, then showed up for a December fight with Brian Minto at a career-high 263 pounds on the scales. Adamek may want to consider not packing on more weight, as the 220 (his career high) against Estrada seemed to give him a couple of problems.
On the undercard, Alfredo Angulo (17-1, 14 KO) will take on former highly-touted prospect Joel Julio (35-3, 31 KO). Both have serious power, but Julio has failed in three attempts to step up in class, losing to tricky lefties Carlos Quintana and Sergiy Dzinziruk, as well as brawling southpaw James Kirkland. Though Angulo is not left-handed, he swarms similarly to Kirkland, and will be expected to stop Julio. Julio, however, is easily the second-best challenge Angulo has yet faced, a clear step above guys like Cosme Rivera and Harry Joe Yorgey, but not quite in the class of Kermit Cintron, the only man to beat Angulo.
It's a good card, but unfortunately will be going head-to-head with Showtime's Super Six double-header featuring Ward-Green and Froch-Kessler. Such is life at this point, and it really does stink that the entire month of February will go by without a single major fight, while the two major American networks are loading up for March through May.