Former light heavyweight and cruiserweight titleholder Tomasz Adamek will face journeyman Travis Walker on Sept. 8 at The Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., his promotional company, Main Events, announced on Friday.
“I like Travis as an opponent because he is a tough fighter and all of his fights are interesting. Every fight he fights is for the fans, like me,” said the nearly 6-foot-2 Adamek of his 6-5 adversary. “I have fought at Prudential Center eight times and I am excited to come back to give my fans a good fight and another exciting win.”
But in order to face Walker (39-7-1, 31 knockouts), who is coming off a sixth-round knockout that ended a three-fight winning streak by Australia’s Kali Meehan in March, Adamek (46-2, 28 KOs) had to pull out of the IBF’s planned four-man eliminator tournament.
The tournament was intended to determine the organization’s mandatory challenger for RING champion Wladimir Klitschko (58-3, 51 KOs). The 36-year-old holder of the IBF, WBA and WBO belts, Klitschko is coming off a July 7 sixth-round knockout of Tony “The Tiger” Thompson in a rematch of Klitschko’s 11th-round stoppage of Thompson in July of 2008.
Thompson was rated No. 2 by the IBF before losing to Klitschko, and the organization’s No. 1 spot is not occupied. To that end, the IBF had successfully lobbied No. 3 Kubrat Pulev (16-0, 8 KOs), who decisioned Walker in October of last year, No. 4 Adamek, No. 5 Odlanier Solis (18-1, 12 KOs) and No. 6 Alexander Ustinov (27-0, 21 KOs).
Adamek was to face Ustinov, of the Klitschko’s K2 East, and Pulev, of Sauerland events, was to meet Solis, of Main Events and co-promoter Ahmet Oner.
“There was a question about Ustinov’s visa. We already had a commitment for Tomasz to fight on Sept. 8, and we were trying to move it to a date that would accommodate Ustinov, but then we found out that even if we moved it, there was a question as to whether or not this guy could get a visa in time,” said Main Events President, Kathy Duva.
“It takes six to eight weeks to get a visa, and the fight is just eight weeks away. So we can’t schedule a fight and then end up waiting until the week of the fight to see if this guy could even get a visa. So we just decided to move on and just live up to the current commitment that we already had.”
“Tomasz has expressed his desire to face tall opponents in order to better prepare for inevitable future fights with the many super-sized heavyweights who are in the division,” said Duva.
“Travis Walker is a top-12 contender who coming off a big win and who is eager to face Adamek’s challenge. We expect another great event at Pru Center. The only difference will be that this show will take place in the afternoon to accommodate Polish television.”
Co-promoted by Ziggy Promotions, the fight will be televised in Poland on pay per view, although arrangements to televise it in the United States have not yet been made. Doors open at 1:30 p.m., and the first bout is scheduled for 2 p.m.
“Adamek thinks that I will be an easy win for him,” said Walker. “But he will be greatly surprised at the combination of finesse, strength and power that I will utilize in this fight. I’m going to stop him, period.”
Rising Philadelphia heavyweight prospect Bryant Jennings (14-0, 6 KOs) is expected to appear on the soon-to-be announced undercard.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org