Convicted Artist Magazine

Jun 25th
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chris_strait03After Tomasz Adamek dominated and stopped fellow Pole Andrew Golota, I guess there was a small part of me that remained optimistic.  Sure, he reliquished his belt, but that may only create drama when he attempts to win it back against the winner of Steve Cunningham vs. Matt Godfrey.  Certainly any smart TV network would not pass up a Cunningham rematch, and Adamek has venues in two countries that will be packed whenever he fights.  He is still the Ring Magazine Cruiserweight champion, and with that Cunningham rematch, possible unification, as well as an all-Poland battle with top 10 cruiser Kristoff Wlodarczyk as possibilities, there is much to do at 200lbs.  However, with the annuncement of Adamek vs. Jason Estrada, my fears of the same old-same old were realized. 
Adamek is now the latest top Cruiser to attempt to take advantage of what he sees as a weak Heavyweight division, by abandoning his proper division.  While he has not said it, trust me, he's gone... taking what little excitment there was at Crusierweight with him.  While Evander Holyfield's rise to power was indeed impressive, it has created many unfortunate copycats, and I feel Adamek will only be the latest.  I think a battle with David Haye would be exciting, and do not even fault his foray into the heavyweight division, but he should be making his more reliable home the 200lb limit. 
What is wrong with fighting 4 times a year, and twice in each division?  This would enable him to remain a dominant champion, but still move up naturally, and let his body and style adapt.  Also, he will not be faced with the possibiltiy of rebuilding his career, once his heavyweight dreams are dashed.  Bob Foster failed miserably at heavyweight, but remained Light Heavyweight champion throughout his attempts at the grand prize.  Do not be excited by Adamek's win over Golota.  The Foul Pole never had a good chin.  Also, while he was a brilliant offensive fighter in his day, when facing a fighter with Adamek's heart, he was certain to wilt.

Some people may also be encouraged by David Haye's recent victory, but I would stay cautious.  Haye's victory over Valuev was for a belt over a decent heavyweight.  That is all.  He will be kayoed when he meets one of the Klitschko brothers, or maybe before.  Exciting?  Yes... but not a recipe for the dominance he enjoyed at 200lbs.  Adamek's solid chin will also be a memory when he steps up to face a real puncher.  Golota was shot, and Estrada can't hit, so we will not see it immediately.  However, it's only a fight or two away. 
Just ask dominant cruiserweights Vassily Jirov, Al Cole, and Juan Carlos Gomez how easy this transition is.  After only a few fights at heavyweights, these unbeatable champions at Cruiser were mere journeyman at Heavy.  Don't be impressed with Gomez' title shot against Klitschko.  That was the result of clever manuevering and promotion, not wins over legit contenders.  Gomez and Cole may have had to move up, because their bodies would not allow them to compete at 200lbs anymore.  That is not the case with Adamek, who would be an undersized heavyweight against virtually everyone he faces.
In this vein, I would like to applaud Brian Minto's decision to drop down from Heavy to Cruiser, as did Herbie Hide, and Chris Byrd.  While I wish these guys had done it sooner, at least they are making the attempt at success where their bodies are more comfortable.  May I suggest this move to Eddie Chambers after his eventual failed title attempt.  Sure, the big money is at heavyweight, but the real big money cant come if you don't win.  That is the most important aspect.  And maybe if we built a star or two at 200lbs, the money might just follow suit.
Chris Strait

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