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Adamek vs. Glazkov: the Time Is Now


By Gabriel Montoya

Tomasz Adamek and Vyacheslav Glazkov were supposed to meet in November of last year. They didn’t. Adamek got the flu and the fight was called off. He had fought his way to a heavyweight title shot in 2011 (a 10th round stoppage loss to Vitali Klitschko) and has since seemed content to make good money treading heavyweight water while biding his time for another shot. Glazkov, coming off two wins following a tough split draw with Malik Scott, had positioned himself to become a name in the U.S. and across the world if he could dispatch the 37-year-old Adamek.
When they finally meet for a scheduled 12 rounds on Saturday at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in a crossroads bout, the two men will get a chance to redefine who they are in a shifting division. The timing for both could not be better.

“I think the best thing for everyone’s career is to be seen on television and to have people following you and caring about what happens to you. This is a high-profile fight that has significance that moves people higher up in the ratings,” said Kathy Duva of Main Events.
Not many promoters would risk two heavyweight assets. Hell, some don’t even risk one much less have as many. But Duva believes in timing and that at some point, fate is up to the fighters.
“It was the best fight possible for them both back in November and we’re very happy with the fight we made. It’s the kind of fight where I’m just going to root for it to be ‘Fight of the Year’ because I really can’t root for either fighter. I’m rooting for the fans; I’m rooting for a great fight,” Duva said of the match.
The former world champion Adamek’s last outing was an August decision win over Dominick Guinn, a journeyman heavyweight whose best days are long gone but who made for a solid outing. While some may point to Adamek’s seven months out of the ring as a long layoff, he had been training for a fight in November against Glazkov when he got sick, so he has been active in a sense.
“First of all, he had the flu, not like [Adamek] had a major illness, so he took some time off, recovered from that and we found out he was fighting in March, planned for a nine-week camp,” said Adamek’s trainer, Roger Bloodworth. “We came in; we did what we normally did. I think as a fighter gets more years on him, more experience on him, that he needs rest. Rest is just as important as work.”
The last time Vyacheslav Glazkov stepped up in class, much like in this bout, he struggled. Last February, Glazkov had an American puzzle named Malik Scott in front of him. A tall, prototypical American heavyweight with a long jab, quickness and the experience of sparring with the best heavyweights of this past generation, Scott took Glazkov off his normally aggressive game. A silver medal winner at the 2007 World Games and a 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Bronze medal winner, Glazkov looked tentative against Scott. Glazkov learned quickly what the next level looked like professionally but ultimately earned himself a draw that some disputed as a win for Scott. Judging is for the judges. Arguing is for the media and fans. Learning from a fight like that is for the fighters and trainers. The hope is the fighter does so the experience is worthwhile.
“After the bout with Malik Scott, me and my trainer went over it and we found some mistakes with it in our preparation for the fight,” said Glazkov on a recent call to promote the fight. Glazkov spoke with great candor, admitting he went out there looking to wing it a bit. Coming into the fight, Glazkov had made seven of 10 opponents he’d beaten by stoppage quit on their stools. The game had gotten good to the aggressive volume puncher. Against Scott, that approach didn’t fly. “Also, during the fight with no plan, I was too tight; I couldn’t throw my punches the right way and properly. So I got some experience and it’s a very good thing it happened to me. We are doing some kind of corrections in preparation camp.”
There is a side story to this fight: both men have sparred each other and according to some, Glazkov hurt Adamek during the session. Sparring is hard to judge. On any given day, a fighter might be looking at one simple tactic. It is impossible to know exactly what he is hoping to accomplish. Without that knowledge, it is almost impossible to predict how a fight can go off one gym rumor or one observed session.
“My opinion is sparring is sparring; a fight is a different story. You have small gloves, no headgear and millions of people in the world watching you. It’s a different game. I’m looking not for what was but what is in the future. The fight is important and I want to show my class, my experience and win this fight,” said Adamek of the session.
“I’ve been in this business long enough to know that sparring is different than the fight. You might have some preconceived notion of what a person is going to do but when he gets in the ring, everything might change,” explained Bloodworth. “You know, I’ve seen a lot of guys sparring with each other and sometimes it didn’t make any difference. I don’t think it’s going to make any difference in this fight and we’re certainly not going into the fight with any preconceived notions about Glazkov. As we said, for one, he’s a very good athlete; he’s a very dedicated fighter and he’ll be prepared.”
Glazkov says he has prepared as he normally does, not giving any more weight to the session than normal. He knows what is in front of him: an older, wiser fighter with more experience but who physically may not be able to deal with him. At 6’3” to Adamek’s 6’1½”, he will be the naturally bigger man. Can he push the older man to the ropes and work the body, turning the fight into the aggressive slugfest he needs in order to win? Or has Glazkov learned to let his hands go in space to match the hit-and-move style Scott used against him and that Adamek likely will employ? Is Adamek on his last legs? The fight will tell us.
For the loser, it will be time to rebuild
“I never think about losing because if you start thinking about that, you better not go into the ring,” said Adamek. “I am ready for a war. I am thinking good; I have big faith. I’m healthy, God give me health; he give me talent in the ring.”
Main Events will likely do a fine job of rebuilding whoever wins.
“It’s not something we do all the time; other promoters, that’s all they do.
“We don’t do it every day; we do it carefully,” said Duva of matching her fighters against each other. “When we see a point where both fighters are kind of at a crossroads and have an opportunity and they both want the fight - which was the case here - there’s no reason not to do it. There are just so many opportunities out there and we had two people in position to be the number two position in the IBF and they both wanted to very much and we were able to make the fight. You can’t always make every fight you want. Sometimes if you want to move people forward, you’ve got to give them the opportunity to perform. So they both have that opportunity.”
For the winner, a number two at heavyweight in the IBF is on the line. But such things cannot be dwelled on now.
“The ratings speak [for themselves]. I am getting to the top as much as I can. Right now, I am concentrating on the bout with Tomasz and after the bout, we will look where our ratings are going to be,” said Glazkov, confirming we aren’t going to watch for these men’s debating skills but rather for what they bring to the ring.
What comes next or what came before will have little consequence come first bell. For the moment, the time is here to put all the work into play. The time to win is now.
You can email Gabriel at, follow him on Twitter at and catch him every Monday on “The Next Round” with Steve Kim, now at its new home, or via iTunes subscription at You can also tune in to hear him and co-host David Duenez live on the BlogTalk radio show, Thursdays at 5-8 p.m., PT.
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