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Tomasz Adamek-Chris Arreola: Can a Good Little Man beat a Good Out of Shape Big Man?

By Joe Wilson

April 24, 2010, will headline a clash between former IBF Cruiserweight and WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Tomasz Adamek, 40-1, 27 KO’s, against Mexican-American heavyweight contender Chris Arreola, 28-1, 25 KO’s. Promoters Dan Goossen and Kathy Duva are calling this bout “Ring of Fire.” With the lack of excitement lately in the heavyweight division, some are viewing this match-up as a potential “Heavyweight Fight of the Year.”

Many voices around the sport can see why. If both fighters bring to the table what they normally bring, it could become a reckless slugfest. Just enough reckless abandon to make this bout, an interesting fight. The heavyweight division has been on a long vacation in the eyes of many. This fight could be just what boxing fans have been waiting for in this division.

Tomasz Adamek just recently put on a solid performance against Jason Estrada the United States super-heavyweight representative. Adamek came in weighing a solid 220 pounds and dominated this fight at a fast pace.  Estrada showed up weighing 237 pounds, which was 10 pounds less than his previous bout. Dropping weight for that bout gave Estrada more stamina to at least stay competitive during the early part of that match. As the fight went on, Adamek controlled the rounds. 

That event brought in over 10,000+ fans, which packed the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Most of the fans were Polish-Americans who were supporters of Adamek. It’s not often that a fighter from another country have that many supporters already living here in the United States. 

Even though, there are Polish-Americans all over the United States, Adamek will not have that same following when he steps in the ring with Chris Arreola. This time the event will be held on the West Coast, around the Los Angeles area, (the home of Chris Arreola). When a fighter fights in his or her own hometown, it usually poses as an advantage for that fighter. Arreola will definitely have that advantage come fight night.

Can a good small man beat a good unfocused big man?

Well… let’s see here.  First of all, the good small man (Adamek) has had to change trainers. Due to a serious illness of his former trainer, he has had to call on world-class trainer, Ronnie Shields. Shields has worked with some of boxing’s elite…fighters with names such as; Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Jermain Taylor and (RIP) Vernon Forrest, to name a few. Ronnie Shields was also a world-class fighter himself, before he became a trainer. 

Will changing trainers in such a short notice have an affect on Adamek?  He and Shields will have about seven weeks to establish a good working relationship. It can be done! A good trainer usually doesn’t go in and try to change a seasoned fighter. What a good trainer usually does is… help sharpen the skills a fighter already has. He does not try to change the way the fighter already fights. It’s too late for that! 

The good thing about Adamek is… He’s always in good shape! There will be no questions about his conditioning. “I can’t say the same for his opponent,” whom I will address shortly. New trainers usually experience good results from fighters who stay in good shape. Conditioning has always been a key factor in a fight. Skills and talent alone usually doesn’t cut it all the time. Tomasz Adamek could pose all the problems a smaller fighter could pose on a bigger opponent. Adamek fights with heart. He has a very good chin and will be there in the later rounds, if he chooses to box and not go toe-to-toe with the bigger man. 

Ronnie Shields will train Adamek to fight twelve rounds. If Adamek doesn’t get too brave early in this fight he could possibly win this war in the later rounds.  Arreola has been known to have conditioning problems, which will show up late in the fight.  Adamek has all the weapons necessary to pull off a win against Chris Arreola, only if… and that’s a big word, he can stick to a good game plan.

Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola is excited about this bout, because Adamek is a high profile opponent. This could be the best opponent for Arreola to redeem his name from the brutal beating he took from WBC heavyweight champion, Vitali Klitschko, in Los Angeles’ Staples Center back in September 2009. 

After that lost, Arreola jumped right back in the ring and beat veteran Brian Minto in a four round stoppage. Adamek brings a totally different package than Minto.  Brian Minto slugged with Arreola as long as he could, but the size difference and experience proved to be too much! The fight was stopped in the fourth round in a victory for Arreola. 

Over the past, Chris Arreola has had major problems staying focused in training camps for fights. He has to be monitored during the night, because of his eating disorder. I’ve seen film footage on Arreola, during a training camp. It is devastating to see a fighter who suffers from an eating disorder, having to fight those demons at night. Chris Arreola has been known to go to Taco Bell in the middle of the night and pig out on anything he can get his hands on. This is the worst nightmare for any trainer while in camp preparing for a big fight.

Even though Chris Arreola has only lost one fight in his professional career, which came from a legitimate opponent, this fight with Tomasz Adamek could easily make or break Arreola’s boxing career. The funny thing is… Arreola is still in his prime; he is only 28 years old. A lost for him could cost him, his career in boxing.  Unlike Adamek who could take another loss, and step right back down in weight and his career would carry on, if he chooses to do so. There would still be big fights available for him in the smaller weight divisions. 

Maybe, the combination of good conditioning and a new trainer makes the difference in Tomasz Adamek winning or losing? Maybe, Chris Arreola (the bigger man) shows up very focused and conditioned, or a lack there of? Or, maybe this fight just proves once again,  “what was once the great heavyweight division” is still a thing of past?

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