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Adamek Stops Bell

By Dan Ambrose: Number #3 ranked IBF cruiserweight contender Tomasz Adamek (34-1, 22 KOs) was far too fast for the former undisputed cruiserweight champion O’Neil Bell (26-4-1, 24 KOs) tonight, stopping him when the 35 year-old Bell failed to come out for the 8th round at the Spodek, in Katowice, Poland.. Bell was down in the 1st round, having been hit with a sharp left hand from Adamek. The punch appeared to have caught Bell off guard as he was coming in. However, it seemed to give an indication of how things would go for Bell, who was simply too slow to compete with the quicker, more skilled former light heavyweight champion Adamek.

It was an impressive boxing display put on by Adamek in front of his home crowd in Poland as he looked much better than he had in losing his title to WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson in February 2007. It’s hard to say whether it was the skill of Adamek or the case of Bell looking a little washed up as a fighter, because clearly Bell didn’t look the same as he did in January 2006 when he stopped Jean-Marc Mormeck in a cruiserweight title match.

Bell started off strong in the first round, attacking Adamek with right hands, and backing him up. The next thing you know, however, Bell was on the canvas after walking into a left hand from Adamek. Bell wasn’t hurt from the shot, looking more embarrassed than anything. The round ended seconds later with few punches exchanged between the two fighters.

In the 2nd round, Adamek’s speed advantage began to show itself as he tagged Bell with hard combinations, repeatedly catching him before his reflexes could signal for him to respond with his own shots. Bell did next to nothing in the round other than taking shots and spending his time fruitlessly stalking Adamek without luck.

Bell landed some effective right hands in the 3rd round, as he applied pressure continuously in the round and finally began to land more frequently. However, Bell’s style of fighting – the grueling inside type – wasn’t suited for Adamek, who wanted no part of an inside war, instead preferring to fight at a distance in a more typical European style. This was something that Bell wasn’t ready for having fought most of his career against American boxers that use a more slugging style of fighting which involves less fighting at a distance and more trading toe-to-toe.

Adamek responded well in the 4th round, moving constantly while landing jabs and left hooks to the head of Bell. For his part, Bell was ineffectively stalking, trying hard but unable to corner Adamek for lack of foot and hand speed.

In the 6th round, Bell looked good, almost showing his championship form of 2006, as he pelted Adamek with hard right hands that would have likely knocked out a lesser fighter. Adamek did a good job of taking some of the sting off the blows by turning his head when he was hit, plus he was constantly moving so that when he was hit, it had the effect of lessening the impact than it would have otherwise if he was standing directly in front of Bell like most of his opponents generally do.

In the 7th round, Adamek changed his tactics completely, staying on the move while peppering Bell with jabs and hooks from a distance. Bell, by this time, looked completely distraught as he was unable to catch up to Adamek, missing over and over when attempting to corner him against the ropes. After the round ended, Bell stood standing at his corner, shaking his head while his corner help tried to urge him to continue fighting. Bell, however, had enough and let the referee know that he didn’t want to continue fighting. The fight was then stopped in between rounds, giving the victory to Adamek. Bell showed a lot of class, congratulating Adamek afterwards. Bell realized that he wasn’t going to be able to catch up to Adamek and was wise enough to know it was better to call it quits than to take needless punishment in the remaining five rounds of the fight.

It was an impressive win for Adamek, but it also seemed to show how good Chad Dawson was, for he had totally dominated Adamek last year. Then again, Dawson’s speed was extraordinary, much faster than Adamek.

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