Adamek got off the floor in the second to close the show in the fifth (Photo by FightImages.com).
Polish Heavyweight and Travis Walker Put on a Show at Prudential Center
Heavyweights Tomasz Adamek (47-2, 29 KOs) and Travis Walker (39-8-1, 31 KOs) headlined a rare Saturday afternoon boxing show at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, and it was an outstanding five-round battle. Both men hit the canvas in a second frame that was as good a round as you will ever see, and Adamek was eventually able to close out the show in the fifth frame by forcing a TKO stoppage after an onslaught in the corner.
“Travis is a great fighter. We made a good couple rounds,” Adamek said at the post-press conference. “I was knocked down, he was. I win. I was better fighter today. Thank God that I am healthy, and he is, too. My wife said that was a very tough fight, but people love this kind of fight!”
Prior to the start of that epic second frame, Adamek looked to establish his quickness off the jab in the opening round, while the much bigger Walker stood firm and looked to hold court in the center of the ring. After a bit of a feeling out, the first three minutes were in the books.
The second frame was fireworks from the start. Right after the bell, Walker threw a double left jab that had Adamek roll to his left. He then followed up with another double jab, but this time he came over the top with a hard right hand that dropped his Polish counterpart to the canvas just 14 seconds into the stanza. Adamek quickly returned to his feet, but he was clearly affected from the blow. Walker looked to seize the opportunity in hand and began to throw in numbers, buckling his opposition again with another overhand right. Adamek did well in using head and body movement to avoid bombing shots from the Florida native, who continued to pour on the offense. However, the heart of the Polish veteran began to shine around the midway point of the frame, and he began to strike back after he got his legs back underneath him. Both men continued to go toe-to-toe, and everything became level around the 20-second mark when Adamek landed a one-two combination that spun Walker and sent him falling forward for a knockdown. This time, Adamek pounced and piled on some offense of his own, getting in an extra 15 seconds when referee Eddie Cotton did not hear the bell.
“I’m kind of known for getting excited after I hurt somebody,” a disappointed Walker commented about the turn of events in the second round. “I got really too excited. My punches weren’t crisp after I hurt him, and, even though I was hitting him with some good shots, they weren’t crisp. I’m just known for getting excited because I was right there. I’ve been waiting for that moment my whole career. And I was right there, and I just saw the big picture, I guess.”
When asked about the knockdown, Adamek said he asked for some assistance to get his head back straight.
“I said ‘God, give me power to wake up,’” he admitted. “I stand up, and that worked. I am warrior. I am not chicken.”
Both of these courageous fighters continued to battle over the next two frames, and the fifth round would prove to be the finisher. Adamek blasted Walker with a left hook in the early going that had him stumbling backwards, and the Polish heavyweight immediately attacked in an effort to close the show. After working him into the corner, Adamek pounded on his opposition from every angle until Cotton finally jumped in and ended what was an incredible show of will and heart between two absolute warriors. The official time of the stoppage was at the 1:08 mark.
After the bout, Walker did voice some thought about possibly hanging up his gloves, but media and Main Events President Kathy Duva encouraged him to reconsider that idea. As far as Adamek is concerned, he could possibly see action again in 2012 but will first take some well deserved time off.