ATLANTIC CITY — Three quick thoughts on Vitali Klitschko’s 10th-round knockout of Tomasz Adamek.
• Klitschko is, simply, a beast. Klitschko is 40, has a head full of grey hairs and a body that has been battered by a long career in boxing. But there is no question he is light years better than anyone in the division not bearing the same last name. Saturday night was vintage Klitschko. He filleted Adamek’s face with that long, probing jab and dropped him twice — once officially, thanks to a blown call by referee Massimo Barrovecchio, who inexplicably didn’t call Adamek down in the second round after a Klitschko right hand had him grabbing the ropes to stay vertical — with thudding right hands. Adamek could never get inside and the 6-foot-7 Klitschko just gobbled him up from long range. A couple of people tweeted me a “he won because he’s tall” argument. That’s bogus. Klitschko is skilled and well-conditioned with a granite chin. He’s the real deal.
• Besides Wladimir Klitschko, there is no one that can touch Vitali. HBO’s Max Kellerman dropped Robert Helenius’s name as a possible future opponent, and I agree with him. Helenius is Klitschko’s size and has impressive power. But Helenius, 27, is at least a year away from being ready. Between now and then, Vitali is looking at a lot of walkovers. David Haye is a possibility. Despite Wladimir destroying Haye in July, Vitali is still interested in getting in the ring with the man who trashed his family name. Undefeated Ukrainian Mariusz Wach, who can also match Vitali’s size, is another. Then there is former titleholder Nikolai Valuev, a 7-footer who has been inactive since 2009 due to injuries and a run for political office. Don’t expect any of those possibilities to pose a serious challenge.
• Adamek should stay at heavyweight. So he couldn’t beat a Klitschko. Who can? In his short time as a heavyweight Adamek has proven he can hang with everyone else. He drew 45,000 fans to a new stadium in Poland, has a very strong following in New Jersey and can win a lot of good, meaningful fights over the next few years. Put him in with Alexander Povetkin, David Haye or in a rematch with Chris Arreola and he will do well. The only lesson Adamek should take away from Saturday night is the same one every fighter who gets in the ring with Vitali or Wladimir: The Klitschkos are just too good.
– Chris Mannix