Just two days out from their big fight in the sold-out, 40,000-seat football stadium in Wroclaw, Poland, defending WBC heavyweight titlist Vitali Klitschko is questioning whether or not Tomasz Adamek is truly a heavyweight, while Adamek feels he can out-quick the bigger man.
"I want to say one thing - you have to be born as a heavyweight," said Vitali Klitschko. "Tomasz Adamek has only grown into the division by eating like a heavyweight."
It is mildly disturbing, I think, this idea that you have to now be born a 6'6" beast of a man to be a competitive heavyweight, but it just might actually be true. The Klitschkos are more than size, and fellow "giant" heavyweights around them are nowhere near their skill level, but Adamek really is a tiny heavyweight for the modern era. His 6'1" height is comparable to Eddie Chambers or Alexander Povetkin or Dereck Chisora, for instance, but all of those men do look bigger than him, because they are simply bigger men. Even Chambers, who we've all agreed for years would have been better off as a cruiserweight in every way except money. Adamek is a light heavyweight fighting as a modern heavyweight. Standing next to Vitali, there's no comparison between them other than Adamek's big head.
"My pace is going to kill him, it's as simple as that," said Adamek. "If you are slow, he is going to hit you, but if you are fast, then afterwards he won't know where he is."
I would truly love to believe in this, but I've seen Adamek against bigger opponents, and his pace and even his speed just didn't seem like something Vitali Klitschko can't handle or hasn't seen before. Adamek fought tentatively with Michael Grant, but did blow out a triple shot Kevin McBride in his last fight. How much stock you put into either of those fights is up to you, but I maintain my belief that neither of them truly prepared him for Klitschko, who is light years ahead of them in skill. There were even times against Grant that Adamek looked like he wanted nothing to do with the big man, who didn't go away so easily as McBride did.
Klitschko vs Adamek is live on HBO at 4:45 p.m. EDT on Saturday.