The Rapscallion of Greenpoint—Adamek Beats Grant
By: George Hanson Jr., Esq.
Date: Saturday, August 21, 2010
Venue: The Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Promoter: Main Events and Ziggy Promotions
Matchmaker: J. Russell Peltz
Ring Announcer: Joe Antonacci
Referees: Lindsey Page, Steve Smoger, & Randy Newman
America is truly the land of opportunity! If I were a rapscallion—a cat burglar of the highest order—instead of a Svengali of the sweet science, I would have made my way to Greenpoint, the northernmost neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn that is aptly coined “Little Poland.” In this enclave 43.6 % of the residents claim Polish ancestry and it is estimated that is has the second largest concentration of working-class Polish immigrants after Chicago. Dressed in “work” clothes, gloves and a trusty flashlight, like a stealth bomber flying under North Korean radar I would have had a field day selecting, burglarizing is such a harsh term, a few empty houses.
On Saturday night most of the residents of Greenpoint were in Newark decked out in red garb, beer in one hand, Polish flag in the other singing like they were at a soccer match, dancing the polka in the aisles waiting for their man, Tomasz “Goral” Adamek to enter the ring and continue his march up the heavyweight ladder. Even I found it difficult to maintain my objectivity as I was swept up in the gale force winds of hurricane Goral and found myself behind an Adamek banner doing the polka two-step with a few fans caught up in the moment fueled by fermented hops and barley. The Prudential Center does not sell Jamaican Appleton rum; therefore I was running strictly on adrenalin.
Playing off the size disparity between the 217-pound Adamek (41 wins – 1 loss – 0 draws – 27 kos) who stands six-feet-one-and-a-half inches and the colossal Michael Grant (46 wins – 3 losses – 0 draws – 34 kos), five-and-a-half inches taller and 45 pounds heavier the match was dubbed “The Big Challenge.” No surprise when Grant entered the ring first, his gospel entrance music was drowned out by the deafening cacophony of boos compliments of the pro-Adamek crowd which comprised the majority of the almost 11,000 in attendance. The only people sitting were those confined to wheelchairs as the clouds burst and the man from Poland, who now resides in Jersey City, made his way to the ring in phalanx with his entourage to what sounded like Polish hip-hop—couldn’t understand a word but loved the beat. Then again, it didn’t make a difference—besides Stuntin’ Like My Daddy, I need a pot of Blue Mountain coffee to get my brain in sync to understand Lil’ Wayne and most American hip-hop artists. Therefore, I was right at home with Goral’s entrance music, baby!! “Vroom on a Yamaha chromed out 1100!”
Brevity has never been my forte. However, for once readers do not have to travel with me for six or more pages to capture the essence of Saturday’s fight. Adamek made my job so easy because I didn’t have to rack my brain for clichés and descriptive phrases to lasso readers and lead them from page to page. American author Joyce Carol Oates once wrote, “boxing exhausts most of its practitioners in a Darwinian struggle for survival like virtually no other, it so honors a very few, so enshrines them in the glamour of immortality, surely the danger is justified?” Clearly Oates never met Adamek because this fight was more of a game of cat and mouse with the smaller adversary assiduously implementing his strategy while dancing around the big feline and less about survival.
From the onset Adamek, looking like Jerry Lewis in the 1951 flick Sailor Beware with his buzz cut and fancy feet, outworked Grant by using a jab and lateral movement while delivering quick combinations – “now you see me, now you don’t.” Adamek has an uncanny ability to circle one way then instantaneously reverse direction, a move that had Grant searching for the smaller man like Arizona Border Patrol at 2:00 A.M. Although when Grant landed his right hand he rattled the smaller man, those instances were fleeting and the damage was ephemeral.
Perhaps Adamek’s most distinguished quality is he’s malleable. He possesses the ability to not only implement a game plan, but can weather adversity and get back on track. He has the heart of a lion, an iron chin and the conditioning of a marathon runner. Knowing that he was behind, like Air Jamaica running out of room on the Palisadoes Strip, Grant had to take off in the final round or crash in a sea of defeat. He came out barnstorming and took command. He shook Adamek with a few punches and looked like a charging bull as the smaller man ducked, side-stepped and held while never appearing as if he were “surviving” as much as realizing that his opponent wanted to lead in the final three minutes of their 36-minute tango and Adamek conceded to his wishes. The final bell sounded and again the clouds burst and the heavens opened up to the raucous cheers of the Polish minions. The reading of the scorecards was a mere formality as Adamek captured a unanimous decision by scores of 118-110, 118-111 and 117-111, reflective of my scorecard. Adamek inches up the heavyweight ladder closer to an inevitable showdown and a mega payday with either of the Klitschko brothers or David “Haymaker” Haye for one of the heavyweight belts.
At the post-fight press conference the erudite Grant offered, “Adamek’s feet were the difference, he was in and out….he sustained and endured. I am not looking to fight anyone under 220 pounds. It was a cat and mouse game. You have not seen the last of me.”
Other Results: Junior-middle-weight contender Joel Julio (35 wins – 4 losses – 0 draws –31 kos) from Monteria, Colombia set a frenetic pace and captured a 10-round unanimous decision by scores of 99-93, 98-92 and 97-93 over tough Jamaal “Da Truth” Davis (12 wins – 6 losses – 0 draws – 6 kos) of Philadelphia.
Brooklyn’s favorite son, 2008 U.S. Olympian Sadam “World Kid” Ali (8 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 4 kos) stopped Lenin Arroyo (20 wins – 12 losses – 1 draw – 4 kos) of San Jose, Costa Rica at 2:46 of the fifth round with a devastating left hook to the body of their scheduled eight-round welterweight bout.
Lightweight Osnel “Prince of Darkness” Charles (3 wins – 2 losses – 0 draws – 0 kos) of Atlantic City, New Jersey by way of Haiti boxed his way to a unanimous decision by scores of 39-37 and 38-37 twice over Hector Collado (0 wins – 1 loss – 1 draw) from Union City, New Jersey, dropping him with a jab in the opening round of this spirited four-rounder.
Patterson, New Jersey’s junior-welterweight prospect Jeremy “Hollywood” Bryan (13 wins – 1 loss – 0 draws –6 kos) won by technical knockout at 3:00 of Round 1 of a scheduled six-rounder as his opponent Daniel “Super Sweet” Mitchell (5 wins – 1 loss – 1 draw –2 kos) of Pittsburgh, PA refused to come out for the second round alleging an eye injury. Let me go out on a limb – if Mitchell sustained an eye injury then I have a dog in my basement that can tap dance!! “Dorothy, oh where, oh where is the Tin Man?”
Debuting five-time New York Golden Gloves Champion, Brooklyn junior lightweight prospect Shemuel Pagan looked sharp as he dominated Raul Rivera (0 wins – 2 losses – 0 draws) of Philadelphia, dropping him in the second round, winning a unanimous four-round decision by scores of 40-34 twice and 40-35.
The show opened with fireworks as middleweight Tyrone Luckey of Middletown, New Jersey dropped Larry Yanez, from Fort Lauderdale with a left hook before finishing him off at 54 seconds of the opening round of this scheduled four-rounder—both men joining the punch-for-pay-ranks.
I oftentimes wonder who is reading my articles beside my family members of which only four live in Brooklyn—the overwhelming majority still enjoy the beautiful sunshine and blue beaches of Jamaica. Maybe I doled out too much information by revealing the obvious fact that every time Adamek fights in Newark, Greenpoint becomes a desolate ghost town. Maybe the next time he has a bout at the Prudential Center, having read this article some aspiring ruffian will enter Greenpoint with larceny in his heart and “invite” himself into the home of an absent Adamek fan only to be met by a hungry pit-bull with dinner on his mind!
Continue to support the sweet science, and remember, always carry your mouthpiece!