#1
I will be a nightmare for “Nightmare”
Big Joe Miranda


Polish heavyweight Tomasz “Goral” Adamek (40-1, 27 KOs) has been preparing for his HBO fight on April 24 in Ontario, California and is training currently in Houston with Ronnie Shields. He talks about reaching 198 floors on the Stairmaster, swimming like Michel Phelps and why his style will be a real nightmare for the Chris “Nightmare” Arreola (28-1, 25 KOs).
For the last 20 years, you were accustomed to the familiar face in your corner – Andrzej Gmitruk. This famous Polish trainer was missing during your only loss as a professional against Chad Dawson. He led you to an undefeated 7-0 record as a cruiserweight, and two wins in the heavyweight division. Now, because of Gmitruk’s health-related resignation, you are preparing for Chris Arreola under the watchful eye of Ronnie Shields and Roger Bloodworth. How tough was this transition?
It would be a lot harder if I did not have a short, three week session with Roger Bloodworth before my February fight against Jason Estrada. It was very confusing, because American trainers have different styles when you’re working the pads with them. They hold pads higher, and at different angles than their European counterparts. For me working pads is my bread and butter, so it was tough. Now, with Ronnie, it went very smooth, just in a couple of days and I was hitting them like we’ve worked together for 5 years. And I warned him that I’m not just another slow heavyweight and that he should expect a lot of quick combinations, so he better be ready and not get lazy when I’m hitting. We got a lot of laughs about it.
Chris Arreola’s camp already hired your previous sparring partner, Travis Kauffmann to prepare Chris for what’s coming, or just to pick his brain, maybe steal some of your secrets?
I have no idea, but probably more to find out about my training methods, about what I like to do during training camp and don’t like. Travis fights so different than I do, so it will be hard to believe that this was the reason. Funny thing is, Arreola’s camp wanted Travis even earlier, when we were preparing for Jason Estrada. But he was busy with me, so no sale. My secrets? I don’t have any – what you see in sparing sessions, you will see in the ring, 100 percent of it. Maybe it would be cheaper for them just to watch my fights?
Shields, with Roger Bloodworth who will arrive with your camp after David Tua’s fight wants you to lose weight and to go as close as possible to your cruiserweight form. You said before that you feel comfortable fighting at 220 pounds, but Shields and Bloodworth are more interested in the maximum being 215.
I have to remind them that I’m not fighting Arreola as a light heavyweight. After a week of training I’m already about 217 and the famous Houston heat is still coming. I work hard – 6 AM a wake-up call, stretching, various strength routines but none with the weights, more like push-ups and sit-downs, then 30 minutes of uninterrupted swimming. No breaks, pauses to catch my breath – just 30 minutes of swimming. After I feel like Michael Phelps, I have a 2 hour break, then there’s a stepper routine – I reached 198 floors – and 90 minutes of working in the ring with Ronnie. Now you know what I meant when I said I could fight Chris as a lightweight.
Ronnie Shields is very confident, saying that your style will be very hard to adjust for Arreola, and, on the other side, yours will be perfect to expose all of Arreola’s flaws. He predicts that Chris will have to quit. But he still will have one punch knockout power on his side.
You can’t knock out somebody you can’t hit. This is why we are working so hard on my speed and movement, some defensive improvements, like head movement, changing positions when attacking, even four-punch combinations. Maybe some slugging now and then, but it will not be something my trainers want me to do. Ronnie is saying that Chris can put me down with one punch; I will need three to do the same. Not sure I agree with that, we can only speculate so much, but only the ring will verify this. One more thing – all the confidence Ronnie and Roger have in me will not make me overconfident. I know how quickly you can be forgotten in the States and in the end none of their words is going to make Arreola lose this fight. It’s just me and my work.
You will stay in Houston until April 24?
Yes, there was no point in going back to Newark to repack the bags and fly to the West Coast. My wife and two daughters will visit me for Easter, then work and probably a week before fight I will be landing in Ontario. Then everything is in my hands and God’s.