Tomasz Adamek (36-1, 24 KOs) is to
have his first IBF cruiserweight title
defense on February 27, in the Prudential
Center hall in Newark, NJ. He will face an
American fighter, the as yet unbeaten
Jonathon Banks (20-0, 14 KOs).
Here's a transcription of an
interview with "The Highlander", who will
defend in the forthcoming fight not only
his IBF belt, but also the top place among
the world's boxers in the 200 lb
Michal Koper (bokser.org): Tomek, BJ
Flores backed out from facing you at the
last minute. Was such a turn of events a
disappointment for you?
Tomasz Adamek: It's a rare occasion
that somebody offered a title shot resigns
from it. Apparently the guy judged the
challenge to be too steep and he decided
to bide his time.
MK: You think he got scared of you?
TA: I wouldn't give up a title fight.
Sometimes you have to take some risks.
MK: How is the case with the Jonathon
Banks fight? Is the contract signed
TA: The formalities aren't done yet,
you don't sign a contract in a day,
there's procedures to be followed, but
everything has been ironed out and as for
today I can state that I will meet Banks
in the ring. He agreed to the fight, I did
too. The official contract will be signed
next week, most probably.
MK: After Flores backed out, did you
consider any other opponents besides
Banks? Braithwaite, for instance?
TA: The opponent selection wasn't up to
us. It was the Showtime network that did
it, they felt Banks was the best choice
and theirs was the deciding voice in this
MK: Have you seen him in action?
TA: I saw him against Vincenzo Rossito.
MK: Do you see him as a comfortable
opponent, so to say? He's a big guy, after
all, 6'3", he packs a mean punch...
TA: I've got to go out and face him, no
matter what he is. If I'm to be the best,
I have to fight all comers. I have no
doubt I will best him, I will show good
boxing again. I ought to be fast compared
to him. From what I've seen, he's a tad
slower than me. I count on speed to be my
trump card in this fight.
MK: Do your promoters have any plans
already, regarding your career path
afterwards? The top cruiserweights,
besides Steve Cunningham or Guillermo
Jones perhaps, are all in Europe these
TA: That's not my bailiwick. I have to
win against Banks first. Then, I hope,
we'll strike a major deal with one of the
big names - Ziggy Rozalski talked to Roy
Jones, Jr.'s manager about a possible
fight in June. We'll see... Truth is, in
the States everything is decided by the TV
networks, they put up the big money and we
have to adjust to their demands.
MK: So the names will be the priority,
not necessarily the further title defense
TA: Yes, obviously. It's the names that
bring in the audiences. When you win
against a major name, you become a name in
your own right. That's how the machine
works, that's how this business
MK: Some polish fans ask themselves
whether your career will follow in the
path of Andrew Golota - whether you'll
grab a fight soon against one of the
absolute top boxers and lose to him...
TA: I'll be 33 this year, not getting
any younger, and I don't plan on boxing
into my forties. If I get a big fight now,
I'll take it.
MK: How many professional fights do you
see ahead of you, then?
TA: I have no idea. This year, after
Banks we plan for another fight in June
and one more in autumn. So, three this
MK: Have you considered a rematch
TA: If Cunningham pushes through to
have the rematch, I will fight him. I'm
not afraid of anyone.
MK: Banks will have Emanuel Steward in
his corner, the coach who prophesied big
things for you in the very beginning of
your career. Do you think he'll be able to
"lay you out" for Banks?
TA: I'm not wholly convinced that
Steward does work daily with Banks. From
what I've heard he is more of a promoter
for Banks than a coach.
MK: When will your coach Andrzej
Gmitruk join you?
TA: I expect him to fly in somewhere in
the middle of the next week.
MK: Are you constantly in training?
TA: Of course. From Monday I've been
having physical workouts twice a day, to
improve strength and stamina. I work out
hard at the gym.
Tomasz Adamek won the IBF cruiserweight
title IBF on 11 December 2008, winning
against Steve Cunningham on points. Prior
to that, in 2005-2007, he was the WBC
light heavyweight champion.