Adamek to face Kubrat Pulev next in IBF final eliminator
By Allan Fox: IBF North American heavyweight champion Tomasz Adamek (48-2, 29 KO’s) really lucked out tonight in beating Steve Cunningham (25-5, 12 KO’s) by a 12 round split decision in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Not too many boxing fans saw the 36-year-old Adamek as the winner of the fight, and he’s pretty lucky that he had a couple of judges that saw him as the winner of the fight because a different set of judges likely would have gone with Cunningham as the winner because he did appear to out-box Adamek in this fight.
For Adamek, it’s his controversial win in his last three fights. He won a controversial 12 round decision over Eddie Chambers earlier this year with perhaps just as many angry boxing fans feeling that he’d been given a gift decision over Chambers.
With this victory, Adamek will now move forward to face unbeaten 6’4 ½” Kubrat Pulev (17-0, 9 KO’s) in a final IBF eliminator bout with the winner of that fight becoming the mandatory challenger for IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. Pulev, 31, is a lot different type of opponent than the guys that Adamek has been facing lately.
Pulev has huge size at 245 lbs, and he’s not a pumped up light heavyweight like Adamek. Pulev has always been a heavyweight, and he’s a former 2008 Olympian from Bulgaria. He’s not going to be someone that Adamek can beat by coming after him and trying to overpower him, because Pulev is strong fighter and he can punch a little. What makes Pulev especially difficult to beat is his jab. He’s got a jab like a power punch and he can throw it all night long. Pulev is really disciplined in that respect because he doesn’t give up on his jab like a lot of fighters do.
I think Adamek will be very lucky if he can past Pulev because I doubt that the judges will want to give him another controversial decision after tonight’s fight. It looks bad if a fighter is losing his fights in the eyes of the boxing public but is being given decisions one after another.
Pulev is big enough and strong enough to do what WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko did to Adamek and that’s dominate him and stop him. I think Adamek is going to take a beating in this fight, and he may have to run from Pulev because he doesn’t have the size to go toe-to-toe with him.