By Jim Hague
The sport of boxing isn’t exactly a beauty pageant. You don’t have to look pretty in the ring or offer a soliloquy about finding a cure for a major disease while wearing boxing gloves.
The most important aspects of boxing are winning and avoiding getting hurt.
So Kearny resident Tomasz Adamek won another heavyweight fight Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, improving to 8-0 at his home away from home. He defeated Eddie Chambers via a unanimous 12-round decision, winning handily on all three judges’ cards. It’s a win that pushes Adamek’s overall professional record to 46-2 and keeps him within sight of another shot at a world heavyweight championship down the road.
Adamek, the native of Poland, has won two straight fights after losing the WBC heavyweight title fight to Vitali Klitschko last September in Poland.
With the victory, Adamek claims the International Boxing Foundation’s North American heavyweight championship belt.
However, Adamek wasn’t exactly spectacular in the win – and he was fighting an opponent who tried to compete all night without the benefit of a healthy left arm.
Chambers did something to his left bicep in the first round, rendering the left hand useless for the remainder of the fight. He managed to put out a game effort fighting with just his right hand.
“I’m sure I would have won the fight if I had both hands,” Chambers said. “I threw a hook off my jab and his big arm got in the way. I must have torn something in the bicep. I tried later to throw some punches with my left, but I couldn’t muscle anything with my left. I had to figure out what to do.”
Adamek admitted that he didn’t notice Chambers fighting with only his right hand.
“I didn’t know about it until someone told me after the fight,” Adamek said. “I still had to be ready for anything. Roger (Bloodworth, Adamek’s trainer) said everything was good. The fight was very close, but I felt I fought my fight and I won the fight. I was only looking to win the fight. If I start to look to knock someone out, I could lose. I felt I controlled the fight.”
Adamek received winning scores of 116-112 from judge Joseph Pasquale, 116-112 from judge Steven Weisfeld and 119-109 from judge Alan Rubenstein.
Adamek was asked if he was hurt at all by Chambers.
“I didn’t feel anything,” Adamek said. “I’m tough. I’m the ‘Mountain Boy.’”
Adamek knows that he’s a bit away from getting another heavyweight title fight.
“I will be ready again in 2013,” said the 35-year-old Adamek. “I’ll take some time off now and come back again in September. I will be ready for another title fight in 2013. I felt like my conditioning was good. I like to throw punches and the fight had too few punches. And they weren’t the right punches. But I’m a warrior. I’ll be back. I feel like I can fight with anyone.”
Chambers, who lost to Wladimir Klitschko for the IBF and WBO heavyweight crown in March 2010, was fighting for the first time since February of 2011, missing two scheduled bouts due to injury. That injury bug came back to bite him again Saturday night.
“Incredibly, I’ve never been injured before in my life,” Chambers said. “Now, it’s happened three times in two years. I had a tough camp for eight weeks in Philly, then I went to Detroit for six weeks. I put everything into it to insure I was going to be in my best shape for this one. I went through camp and never got hurt once. And it happens here. I didn’t come all this way to have this happen.”
Chambers was asked if there was ever a thought of ending the fight.
“I wouldn’t have it,” Chambers said. “I had to roll with it. If my arm fell off, I still would have been out there.”
Adamek was the aggressor before Chambers first motioned that his arm was injured. While Weisfeld somehow gave the first round to Chambers, Adamek clearly won the first and second rounds.
Adamek continued his domination in the third and fourth rounds, switching up his boxing styles to keep Chambers at bay.
Adamek scored at will in the sixth round, using a stiff right jab to keep Chambers moving backwards.
“Eddie was fast and very sneaky,” Adamek said.
Chambers spent most of the sixth round covering up and offering little offense.
Adamek staggered Chambers in the seventh round, but appeared to do so while stepping on Chambers’ foot.
Chambers finally scored with two straight right hands in the eighth round, the first round that Chambers won on two of the three scorecards.
Chambers continued to score in the ninth round, pushing Adamek back on two occasions, fighting with only his right arm.
“I was unsure about the decision and if you’re unsure, you can’t say you won clear cut,” Chambers said. “I don’t like to sound brash, but I would have won if I didn’t get hurt. I worked so hard to get ready for this fight and I was in the best shape of my life.”
Adamek then controlled the last two rounds to win the decision much to the delight of the Adamek-dominated crowd, which chanted “Polska, Polska,” in favor of Adamek all night.
Chambers was fighting for the first time since the passing of his long-time manager “Big” Rob Murray, who died June 3. Murray’s son, Rob, Jr. has taken over handling Chambers.
“It was an important thought going out there tonight,” Chambers said. “Big Rob meant everything to my life for so long. I can’t thank him enough. I think about him every day.”
While Chambers was talking about a possible rematch, Adamek was thinking of the future.
“I want to have another title fight again,” Adamek said. “I have to win every time to get that chance.”
Even if it wasn’t at all pretty, it was a victory for Kearny’s conquering hero, as he works towards getting another title shot in the future.