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Bell vs. Adamek: Look For An Easy KO Win For O’Neil

O'Neil Bell Tomasz AdamekBy Eric Thomas: Former cruiserweight WBA/WBC/IBF cruiserweight champion O’Neil Bell (26-2-1, 24 KOs) will return to the ring tomorrow night after a year layoff to go up against former WBC light heavyweight champion Tomasz Adamek (33-1, 22 KOs) in a IBF cruiserweight title eliminator at the Spodek, in Katowice, Poland. You got to feel for Bell, 34, who lost his WBA & WBC cruiserweight titles last year in a questionable decision to Jean-Marc Mormeck in France. In watching the fight, there was no possible way that Mormeck could have won the fight, and it appeared that Bell had won the fight easily with at least two-three rounds to spare.

However, the fight was held in Mormeck’s native France, so it came to no surprise that Bell would come out short on the stick if the fight was even slightly close. It wasn’t close, yet Bell lost anyway. Now, for the second time Bell is going to tempt fate, this time by traveling to Poland where he will be fighting in the 31 year-old Polish Adamek’s back yard. Of course, the same things apply to this bout as did Bell’s previous fight, in that he’ll have to either knock Adamek out or win pretty much every round of the fight if he wants to come out on top.

Though Adamek isn’t a champion, it’s always tough to beat a hometown fighter in front of their own crowd, and Bell will have his work cut out for him tomorrow night. He’s taking it well, not worrying about the fact that Adamek, a naturally smaller fighter with less ring credentials than Bell, has been picked as the fighter favored to win. Also, Bell doesn’t seem concerned that he may get another loss on questionable terms. Bell, a supremely confident fighter, feels that he’ll win the fight with his fists, perhaps counting on stopping Adamek inside the distance.

Having seen many of his fights, I wouldn’t doubt that Bell does end up stopping Adamek. Bell is a much better fighter, the naturally bigger fighter, more powerful and much more skilled in terms of boxing skills. I’d pick Bell over Chad Dawson, the WBC light heavyweight champion, who defeated Adamek by a sizable margin in the process of taking his WBC light heavyweight title from him in February 2007. That defeat sent Adamek scurrying away from the light heavyweight division, moving up to the cruiserweight division in hopes of winning a title. Adamek, 31, has done little to make a mark in the division in the past year, beating a couple of C-class fighters, Luis Andres Pineda and Josip Jalusic before signing on for the bout with Bell.

It seems like Adamek has had little chance to really acclimate himself to the cruiserweight division. He’s going from two soft opponents to arguably the very best fighter in the division, all without testing himself against at least a B-level fighter in between. As far as I can tell, I can’t see a worse way of going into a title eliminator than that. However, in fairness to Adamek, it probably wouldn’t matter whom he fights, for Bell would beat the life out of him regardless of how much preparation he does beforehand. The problem is, there aren’t any cruiserweights out there good enough to prepare Adamek for a fighter in the class of Bell, and that includes David Haye and Enzo Maccarinelli.

Bell, who has perhaps the best chin in the division, would take the best shots from either Haye or Maccarinelli without flinching or going down. He’d end up taking both of them into the deep waters and drown them, similar to the way former cruiserweight champion Carl Thompson previously stopped Haye in September 2004. Adamek, as good as he was as a light heavyweight, isn’t nearly as good as either Haye or Maccarinelli, and hence he’s going to take a major beating from Bell on Saturday night, large Polish crowd or no crowd.

Bell is simply in another stratosphere than Adamek is, and that will be abundantly clear as early as the first round when Bell starts giving Adamek a methodical beating. Look for the fight to be stopped well inside the distance, probably by the 5th or 6th round.

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