Tomasz Adamek was sure that he would have received his big chance at the heavyweight boxing championship of the world by now. After all, the top-ranked contender, who trains daily in Jersey City, has done everything he possibly can to earn the respect that comes with getting a title fight.
Adamek, the Polish native who lived in Jersey City for six years after arriving from Poland, has defeated his last four heavyweight opponents, two of whom were much bigger. He’s won 42 of 43 pro fights in his career. He’s adapted to a new coach and a new boxing philosophy.
But still, Adamek has not had the chance to fight for his ultimate goal, namely the heavyweight championship of the world. The Klitschko brothers, namely older brother Vitali (the world WBC champ) and younger brother Wladimir (the IBF and WBO world champ), who currently have a stranglehold on the heavyweight boxing picture, have not offered Adamek a chance to fight for either’s title.
“I’m ready to fight them,” Adamek said. “If you know how to get them to fight me, let me know. I want to be the heavyweight champion of the world. If I stay home with my wife, I won’t be champion. So I work hard every day.”
So that’s why Adamek has signed on to fight another heavyweight opponent at his new-found home, the Prudential Center in Newark.
Adamek has signed on to face New York-based heavyweight Vinny Maddalone, a former minor league baseball player-turned boxer, at “The Rock” on Thursday, Dec. 9.
The fight was officially announced recently at a press conference at the Global Gym in North Bergen, which has become the unofficial home for professional boxing in Hudson County.
Adamek, who defeated former heavyweight contender David Grant at the Prudential Center in his last fight in August, suffered a cut in the fight, the first time that Adamek ever was cut in the ring.
Most boxers need some time to recover after suffering a deep cut. Adamek was out of the ring for all of three days.
“It wasn’t tough,” Adamek said. “I had to get back in the ring. It’s my job. I’m too old to sit around and wait.”
Adamek is 33 years old and will turn 34 before he enters the ring against Maddalone. He’s not a young fighter anymore. He knows that the time is running out to get his chance to be the heavyweight champ.
“I don’t have the time to stay at home and wait for them (the Klitschko brothers),” Adamek said. “I’m almost 34. I want to be the champion before I’m 40. I’m on the clock.”
Adamek feels like he’s a much improved boxer than he was when he entered the heavyweight ranks in October of 2009 to face fellow Polish countryman Andrew Golota in Poland.
“I’m a better boxer,” Adamek said. “I’m learning to bend my knees and have more movement. I have better conditioning. I have more power now. I think my talents have gone up.”
One thing that has definitely gone up is Adamek’s command of the English language. When he was first coming through the boxing ranks, he was quiet and unsure around reporters, always waiting for an interpreter poised nearby to speak for him.
That’s not the case any longer. Adamek spoke for himself. His manager and promoter, Jersey City’s Ziggy Rozalski, was not present. This time, Adamek was on his own, with only American trainer Roger Bloodworth by his side.
Adamek is glad to get Maddalone, a native of Flushing, Queens with a pro record of 32-5, to come to Newark.
“He’s a good opponent,” Adamek said. “I hope we can put together a good fight.”
The 36-year-old Maddalone was a former minor league baseball pitcher who entered a ToughMan competition on a dare in 1999. Maddalone won the competition and quickly became a pro fighter, becoming very popular in the New York circles for his never-say-die aggressive style.
“I think it’s a great chance for me,” said Maddalone, who owns a bar/restaurant in Flushing and is trained by famed Secaucus Hall of Fame trainer Al Certo. “Tomasz is a proven champion and proven warrior. I think the fans will definitely get their money’s worth. I know I’m the underdog, but I’ve been there before. I always give it my all in the ring and let my hands do the talking.”
“This is my home state now,” Adamek said. “I like living here and fighting here. I like bringing a lot of fans to the Prudential Center.”
And hopefully, sometime soon, Adamek will bring the excitement of a heavyweight championship fight to Hudson County.
Tickets for the Adamek-Maddalone fight can be purchased at the Prudential Center box office or at www.ticketmaster.com....
Some grid observations: What good does it do for powerhouse St. Peter’s Prep to face the downtrodden teams every single week? It’s been one blowout win after another.
It’s safe to say that the Marauders probably get better competition at their own practices, because Prep’s second team and reserves would definitely beat the first teams of their last four opponents — hands down.
There’s no question that Prep junior Jared Crayton is the best running back in the county other than his own teammate, the brilliant Savon Huggins. But Crayton doesn’t get many chances to carry the ball because he’s playing behind Huggins and when he does get in the game, the Marauders are up already by 45.
Prep head coach Rich Hansen was asked how he deals with facing teams that simply can’t come close to competing against his team.
“We preach to the kids that we want to make our practices really competitive,” Hansen said. “I still think we’re able to get a lot of stuff done in our games. There has to be something good coming from it. I look at three things, the intensity level, whether we’re turning the ball over and whether we’re having penalties. I think we’re still executing and that’s the key.”
The Marauders have outscored their last four opponents by an ungodly combined score of 194-8 and will face a struggling Ferris squad this weekend. It’s absurd that a team can be that much better than the competition, but the Marauders haven’t lost a game to a Hudson County team since 2000. Enough is enough…
Power point playoff update: In North Jersey Section 2, Group I, the three local teams all look to be in good shape, but may have to spend the playoffs on the road. Secaucus (6-1) lost to Rutherford last weekend and dropped to fourth in the bracket. Lincoln (5-2) has lost two straight and dropped to fifth in the bracket, while Hoboken has also lost two in a row and dropped to seventh in the bracket.
In North 1, Group IV, North Bergen (5-2) clinched a berth and can even clinch a home game in the first round with a win over Union City (4-3), which also appears to have earned a playoff bid in the same section, despite what may take place this weekend against the hot Bruins.
St. Peter’s (6-1), which sits fifth in Non-Public Group 4, could very well be headed to a showdown in Oradell against Bergen Catholic in two weeks.
As mentioned in Scoreboard, St. Anthony is sitting solid at 7-0 and headed for the top seed in Non-Public Groups 1 & 2…
Hudson Reporter H.S. Football Top Five: 1. St. Peter’s Prep (6-1). 2. St. Anthony (7-0). 3. North Bergen (5-2). 4. Secaucus (6-1). 5. Lincoln (5-2)…
Hudson Reporter H.S. Soccer Top Five: 1. Bayonne (11-4-3). 2. St. Peter’s Prep (12-6). 3. Union City (10-4-2). 4. North Bergen (7-9-2). 5. Secaucus (7-8-1)….
The amazing story that is Jose Veras continued last week when he led Dickinson to the Jersey City championship, setting a new course record at Lincoln Park in an astounding 15:51, breaking the old record by 37 seconds. It was the fourth straight city title for Dickinson’s boys.
Dickinson’s Fawzia Kheir won the girls’ title, with St. Dominic Academy winning the team title for the third straight year…--Jim Hague Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.