Erik Morales and Tomasz Adamek don't have a lot in common, but they do have, according to them, opponents lined up for their next fighst.
Morales says he'll be fighting in Tijuana on July 17 against Vicente Escobedo. Whatever you think of Morales' comeback, that's a legitimate fight for him and shows some brass. The win at welterweight over Jose Alfaro wasn't pretty, but he won the fight, and now he's targeting the junior welterweight division as the place he'll make his mark. Escobedo has been fighting at lightweight, but Morales is no junior welter himself, so whatever. Morales says he wanted a David Diaz rematch and Diaz turned it down.
Escobedo (22-2, 14 KO) should realistically be a pretty heavy favorite in that fight. He did some damage to Michael Katsidis last year and won a hell of a good fight over Carlos Hernandez before that. He returned to the ring in March to beat Mexican journeyman Carlos Urias via TKO-3. Morales would be the biggest name scalp on his resume, and at 28 with what feels like years of stalling for Escobedo, the time is right to get a real move on shaping a career. He's got the talent and he showed heart in both his 2009 fights.
Adamek, apparently, will be fighting Michael Grant. Yes, that Michael Grant. Adamek's manager said it's 98%. I'll be honest, I'd rather he fight Holyfield. At least Evander's done anything notable in the last decade. The 37-year-old Grant peaked in 1999 with a comeback stoppage of Andrew Golota (there's your connection), and was then blasted out in two by Lennox Lewis and in one by Jameel McCline. Since then (and then was July 2001), he's gone 15-1, with all 15 wins over fighters who could be nicely described as mediocre, and a loss to Dominick Guinn.
Hell, I'd rather see Adamek-Guinn. I'd rather see Adamek-Arreola II. I'd rather see Adamek-Roy Jones Jr.
The hope is obvious. At 6'7" with an 86" reach, Grant is a big guy with some name among Polish boxing fans. He can serve as a tune-up for the Klitschkos (I'd rather see Adamek-Alexander Dimitrenko), at least in terms of size. He cannot serve as a tune-up for the Klitschkos in terms of, like, ability. Dimitrenko can't either, but at least Dimitrenko is in his prime.
There is that little part of me (and this is why I'll watch the fight if at all possible) that wonders if Grant, who is a huge guy, just might be too big for Adamek. I mean, Guinn's no world-beater and he beat Grant -- and even that was seven years ago -- but Guinn is 6'3" and fairly long. Adamek is going to be giving up almost seven inches in height and 11 inches in reach. If Grant can physically impose himself on Tomasz, Adamek could be in for a bad night. It won't happen, but there's that little chance it does. Grant knows this is his final shot if the fight happens.
Adamek-Grant would take place in August or September in New Jersey.