Robert Morales, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/23/2010 09:53:17 PM PDT
Sometimes people get turned off when athletes talk about religion.
It's looked upon as boring. But according to promoter Kathy Duva, a very strong faith is what has made heavyweight Tomasz Adamek the exciting fighter he is today.
If Adamek were not a strong believer, he would be having a much more difficult time these days. The Poland native has been mourning Polish president Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria and several other of the country's high-ranking politicians who lost their lives in a plane crash April 10.
Unfortunately, there's more. About two months before that, there was another catastrophe that took several people close to Adamek, who tonight will take on Chris Arreola at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario (on HBO).
"A few weeks before he started camp, he lost several close friends in a plane crash," said Duva, president of New Jersey-based Main Events Inc. "And he knew people on this (presidential) plane, too. He doesn't even talk about it ...
"He is an incredibly religious man. That's who he is. We know him well and we understand that. Then you understand that he accepts fate, he accepts things that happen. They happen for a reason. He has complete and total unshakable faith."
As Adamek sat at a table in the San Manuel Casino in Highland following Monday's final news conference, it was easy to see just by looking into his eyes he was everything Duva said he is.
Adamek came off not only as a man with a
strong belief in divinity but someone to take advice from during times of struggles.
"This is my motto in life: Without God, there is nothing," said Adamek, 33. "In everyday life, this is how I raise my children. I let them know that God is No. 1 and without him nothing makes sense.
"So it helps me in this situation and it helps me in every other aspect of life."
And, as Duva said, Adamek accepts fate. The way he explains it, it's the only way.
"Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to help those people who perished, first my friends and now the president, because you have to believe there is some higher power which is guiding us," Adamek said. "They were unfortunate deaths of people who I know, but we shouldn't get into despair because it will not help you in life. You cannot go through life in despair. I was raised this way and I believe this is where my strength comes from is God."
Unshakable faith, indeed. It's who Adamek is and, as Duva claimed, what has helped him become a terrific fighter.
"That will carry anyone through any kind of adversity," Duva said when asked if she was concerned Adamek's sorrow will create a lack of concentration on tonight's task. "He's a guy who will stay focused on what he has to do.
"It's part of why he's gotten to where he is."
Adamek has won world titles in the light heavyweight and cruiserweight divisions. He was 3-1 in light heavyweight world title bouts, moved up in weight and went 3-0 in cruiserweight world championship fights.
With a thirst to become heavyweight champion, Adamek again moved up and is 2-0 in what used to be boxing's bread and butter division.
He brings a fine record of 40-1 with 27 knockouts into tonight's fight.
Regardless of his inner strength, he seemingly is in over his head physically against Arreola. The two heavyweights Adamek defeated over the past six months are fellow Pole Andrew Golota and Jason Estrada. Estrada is a very light hitter and Arreola refers to Golota as "an aged Andrew Golota." Golota was 41 when he was stopped in the fifth round by Adamek last October.
Arreola has a large size advantage. He is 6-foot-4 and Thursday weighed 250 1/2 pounds. Adamek is 6-1 1/2 and weighed in at 217.
"I do believe it will be competitive for a while," Arreola said. "But the thing is my job in there is to wear him down and show him what it's like to be in the heavyweight division."
No problem, said Adamek, who moved from Poland to New Jersey in 2008.
"The size of Chris Arreola really makes no difference," he said. "He's 6-8, 6-9, 260, 220, it doesn't really matter. It is what is in your head that matters, not your size.
"I don't plan to go down after three, four or five punches from Chris."
Rather, Adamek said he plans to be "quick and smart."
Arreola doesn't want to hear it.
"I don't care about this David and Goliath crap," he said. "I'm not here to preach the Bible."
Adamek is, and if he's victorious tonight against the likes of Arreola, those who yawn during religious speak might listen a little more closely in the future.
Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/sports/ci_14948342#ixzz0m1F30Jmx