Adamek turns down fight with Kubrat Pulev
By Dan Ambrose: Former two division world champion Tomasz Adamek (48-2, 29 KO’s) has decided not to face #1 IBF heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev (17-0, 9 KO’s) in an IBF eliminator bout to determine a mandatory challenger for IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. Adamek says he got a better off of bigger money to fight in his native Poland.
Adamek said “I have been offered an opportunity to fight in Poland for more money than I would get for fighting Kubrat Pulev. Meaning no disrespect to Pulev, he has never held a major title and never headlined a televised card. Any money generated by the promotion would, for the most part, be generated by my popularity. I owe it to my family to engage in the most financially rewarding bouts, and engaging in a bout with Kubrat Pulev at this time simply does not make financial sense…I have withdrawn from the IBF box-off.”
This makes a lot of sense for the 6’2″ Adamek to choose not to fight the younger, taller 31-year-old Pulev because it was pretty much a fight that Adamek had little chance of winning. Pulev, 6’4 1/2″, is a lot bigger than Adamek, and unlike the big 2nd tier heavyweights that Adamek has beaten in the past, Pulev can actually fight. He’s a legit heavyweight contender, not a 2nd tier fighter that Adamek could easily beat. Pulev would beat Adamek with his jab alone and it would be pretty one-sided.
As we’ve seen lately in his fights against Eddie Chambers, Steven Cunningham and Travis Walker, the 36-year-old Adamek is starting to show serious signs of decline, whether that be from the beating he took from WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitscko in losing by a 10 round knockout in 2011, or from just aging, it’s unclear. But what is clear is Adamek isn’t the same fighter he was when he moved up to the heavyweight division in 2009. His wheels aren’t working as good as they were then, and his hand speed, never good to begin with, has slowed even more. Adamek has two controversial wins over Cunningham and Chambers in his last three fights, and he was knocked down by Walker.
Adamek’s excuse that Pulev brings nothing to the table financially is a weak one for not fighting him because look at the guys that Adamek has been facing lately – Travis Walker, Nagy Aguilera, Cunningham and Chambers. Is any of them a big name or a big draw? No, none. The Pulev fight makes sense because it’s a fight that Adamek would have to fight to become the mandatory challenger for Wladimir. However, Adamek is probably betting that Wladimir will continue to hand pick better known – but not necessarily good fighters – opponents out of the top 15 rather than waiting to fight them they become his mandatory.
If Wladimir wants an easy fight against a well known aging heavyweight like Adamek, then he’ll pick him even if he’s not his mandatory. For this reason it does make sense for Adamek to duck the fight with Pulev because Adamek will almost surely get the payday fight against Wladimir anyway no matter who he fights. Wladimir appears to be just milking his titles at this point in his career, and he’ll likely choose to fight Adamek in early 2014, if he doesn’t squeeze him in this year.
Adamek is still ranked high at #2 by the IBF, but he’s clearly slipped as a heavyweight and there are a number of heavyweight contenders that would likely knock him out and/or give him a real beating, one of them being Pulev.