A few hours before his older brother Vitali Klitschko’s scheduled WBC heavyweight title defense against former light heavyweight and cruiserweight beltholder Tomasz Adamek on Saturday, Wladimir Klitschko told his trainer, Manny Steward, that his “nervous about the fight.”
“I just spoke to Wladimir a little earlier, and he said that he’s nervous about the fight, even though his brother is a big favorite, and he’s physically a bigger man, and that he has more experience in the bigger fights,” said Steward of a clash that takes place in at Stadion Mejski in Wroclaw, Poland.
“Wladimir just feels that Tomasz Adamek has so much unbelievable and overwhelming support from his Polish fans over there. Even though they love the Klitschkos, and they have always loved the Klitschkos over there, it’s the fact that he’s fighting a Polish guy over there in Poland and he said that the fans for Adamek are so wired up over there.”
The Polish-born 34-year-old Adamek (44-1, 28 KOs) yields six inches in height and nearly 30 pounds in weight to the 40-year-old Klitschko (42-2, 39 KOs).
The 6-foot-2 Adamek weighed in at 215.6 pounds and is after his 14th consecutive victory and his seventh straight win as a heavyweight against the nearly 6-8 Klitschko, who weighed in at 242 pounds and is riding a 10-fight winning streak that includes eight stoppages.
Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs), himself, has won 14 straight fights with 10 knockouts during that run and holds the WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight belts.
Still, Wladimir told Steward that he is taken aback by the enthusiasm for Adamek in Wroclaw.
“Wladimir said that there is so much energy among the Polish fans for Adamek that he would get so much motivation,” said Steward.
“Wladimir just believes that he may be urged to move around a lot more, unlike a lot of the other guys that Vitali has fought, and that he can be a lot more of a problem than people think.”
Adamek has not lost in four years and seven months, the last man to defeat him being Chad Dawson by a unanimous decision that dethroned Adamek as WBC lightheavyweight beltholder in February 2007.
Adamek claims that he was weakened by extreme weight loss against Dawson. He rebounded with a seventh-round stoppage of cruiserweight Luis Andreas in his very next fight in June 2007.
A win by Adamek would rank as the most significant by a former light heavyweight over a heavyweight since Michael Spinks scored consecutive wins by unanimous and spilt decisions, respectively, over Larry Holmes in 1985 and 1986.
In an interview from Poland last week, Adamek’s promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events said that if you asked any cab driver in Wroclaw, Adamek’s going to win.
“Anybody who fights Klitschko is going to be the underdog, that’s just the way that it is. But if every cab driver in Wroclaw is to be believed, Tomasz is the favorite. The cab drivers are kind of a barometer of the people,” said Duva, president of Main Events.
“People in the streets, the hotels and the restaurants, they’re already getting excited. It’s fun to be here. Everybody here in Poland is picking Tomasz to win. Obviously, we’ve felt for a very long time that Tomasz was going to surprise people.”
Adamek is in search of his first major title since winning the IBF cruiserweight belt by split decision over Steve Cunningham in December 2008 and successfully defending it twice.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com