Could Klitschko vs Adamek Be This Era’s Holmes vs Spinks?
On September 21st, 1985, long reigning universally recognized and undefeated Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes embarked on his mission to match Rocky Marciano's unbeaten streak of 49-0 at the historic Riviera Hotel and Casino in luxurious Las Vegas, Nevada.
Most in the media felt that Holmes would surely tie the coveted streak belonging to the Brockton Blockbuster largely because of who "The Holmes Hammer" would be facing on that fateful evening in Sin City.
His opponent was the 1976 Olympic Gold Medal winner in the middleweight division and long reigning Light Heavyweight champion of the world, Michael Spinks.
Although "The Jinx" was undefeated and had successfully defended his light-heavyweight title ten times, no one in the boxing universe treated the St. Louis native as a serious threat to Larry Holmes' undefeated streak or felt that he could detour Larry from his quest to become the first heavyweight fighter to surpass Rocky Marciano's undefeated record of 49 wins without a single professional loss.
Even if Spinks was 27-0 with 19 knock-outs going into the big fight on September 21st and had beaten great fighters like Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, and Eddie Davis, this was Michael's first bout within the heavyweight division, and it was conventional wisdom in 1985 that you had to "take" the title from the reigning Heavyweight champion.
It was perceived by many that Spinks just didn't have the power to knock-out Larry Holmes, and that surely was the only way the belt could be lifted from a champion like Holmes via 1985...right?
A challenger to the most desired title in all of sports couldn't possibly lift the belt from the Heavyweight King simply by outpointing him...could he?
On September 21st, 1985, that's exactly what "The Jinx" did. He pulled off what most critics felt was an impossible task. Spinks defeated the undisputed and undefeated Heavyweight Champion of the World via points decision to become the very first Light-Heavyweight Champion to win the most coveted crown in sports: The Heavyweight Championship of the World.
Michael Spinks won a 15 round unanimous decision with scores from Judge Lawrence Wallace: 145-142, Judge Dave Moretti: 143-142, and Judge Harold Lederman: 145-142, all in favor of the underdog from St. Louis, MO.
Leading up to the fight, it seemed that Larry had been so obsessed with the Ghost of Rocky Marciano, that he had forgotten a cardinal rule in boxing: Never look past any fight, because any man can defeat any opponent on any given day in the squared circle.
Almost 26 years later to the day, enter former Light Heavyweight Champion Tomasz Adamek from Poland.
The Polish hero is one of the more underrated and underappreciated fighters in boxing. He touts an impressive record of 44-1, with 28 knock-outs. Adamek hasn't lost a fight since 2007, stringing together 13 impressive victories in a row while earning the universally recognized Cruiserweight Championship along the way.
On September 10th, Tomasz Adamek (44-1, 28 KOs) faces the seemingly unbeatable machine that is Vitali Klitschko (42-2, 39 KOs).
To say that the current WBC Heavyweight Champ is a tough assignment for any fighter would be a massive understatement.
The older Klitschko brother has never been behind on points in any fight at the time of stoppage, even in loss, and has never been knocked down in any professional bout. He hasn't lost a fight in over eight years and has one of the greatest knock-out ratios in the history of the heavyweight division with 89%.
The fighter most affectionately known as Dr. Ironfist is considered to be the heavy favorite going into his sixth straight title defense since returning to the ring after a four year lay-off. Most boxing scribes have labeled Vitali Klitschko as an almost unbeatable fighter at this point in his career, just as Larry Holmes was viewed before his date with destiny almost 26 years ago against underdog Michael Spinks.
Consider this: Although Vitali just turned 40 years old in July, he is a well preserved 40 who hasn't been in many dogfights. His body hasn't seen very many tough rounds in his illustrious career, and as a result looks like a fresh young heavyweight champion.
But if you ask Tomasz Adamek if he likes his chances of pulling off the improbable upset, he will give you a resounding yes.
On September, 10th, in his home country, Adamek will try to personify "Ethan Hunt" in the squared circle by pulling off a "Mission Impossible" against the current WBC Heavyweight Champion.
There are several reasons why Adamek remains a very confident fighter going into his "date with destiny" next week.
Although the crafty Pole is the challenger going into the much anticipated title fight, the heavyweight contest is being held in his home country of Poland; Adamek will have the crowd behind him throughout the entire fight.
Also, Adamek is a very mentally and physically strong fighter who has never been stopped within the distance of any fight.
In fact, during his only loss as a professional fighter, he floored the elusive Chad Dawson in the tenth round of their scheduled 12 round fight, almost knocking out the perennial light heavyweight contender.
Going into this fight, Vitali Klitschko seems almost obsessed with creating a title fight with former WBA title holder David Haye of Great Britain. Like Larry Holmes before him, Vitali seems to be focused on future events rather than the task at hand.
Is Vitali Klitschko overlooking and underestimating Tomasz Adamek?
Could Adamek win a technical 12 round decision in his home country to lift the title from Vitali Kltischko just like the "Spinks Jinx" did in 1985?
Will the visiting Champion have to knock-out the challenger in hostile territory to retain his title on September 10th, 2011?
All of these questions and more will be answered live on HBO, September 10th, 2011.