By Jason Pribila ringside in Bethlehem, USA: Boxing fans filled the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, USA as Main Events and Peltz Boxing featured a seven bout card that was highlighted by two de facto main events. The official main event televised on the NBCSN Fight Night Series saw an upset in the heavyweight division. Former Olympic bronze medalist beautifully boxed his way to a big lead and never looked back against former title challenger Tomasz Adamek. The capacity crowd also witnessed drama unfold before the live broadcast began. Former welterweight titlist, Kermit Cintron, used his experience to turn away the challenge of Bethlehem’s own Ronald Cruz.
I have been attending live boxing events for just under a decade, and the two fan bases that have impressed me the most have been that of the late Arturo Gatti and those who support Tomasz “Goral” Adamek. It is no coincidence that both fighters migrated to fight out of Jersey City, NJ and fought under the Main Events banner.
Adamek, a former two division titlist in the light heavyweight and cruiserweight divisions, moved to heavyweight in 2009. He climbed the ranks before coming up short in his title challenge of Vitali Klitschko. On Saturday night the only thing that stood between Adamek and the IBF’s #2 ranking, was the undefeated Glazkov.
From the opening bell Glazkov (17-0-1, 11 KO) fought with the poise of a veteran despite only being paid to punch 17 previous times. He immediately established his jab and continually forced Adamek (49-3, 29 KO) to reset his feet, unable to get his offense on track.
The effects of the Glazkov jab began leaving its mark on Adamek’s face. Swelling under the right eye began in the second round and soon became a target for Glazkov. With his opponents vision impaired, Glazkov began to take advantage by landing lead left hooks.
Midway through the fight Glazkov was making Adamek look like easy work. He was beginning to land his straight right, and the damage Adamek was absorbing drew the attention of the ringside physicians who took a long look before letting Adamek get off his stool to begin round ten.
Adamek fought with a sense of urgency in that round. A left hook gave his adoring crowd hope, and Glazkov seemed to momentarily take his foot off the gas pedal. Round ten was the first that I gave Adamek since the opening frame.
Adamek again let his hands go in the 11th. He was coming forward, applying pressure, and outlanding a foe who was navigating thru the deep waters of the championship rounds for the first time. To his credit, Glazkov remained calm and landed just enough to slow Adamek’s rising tide.
Sensing he no doubt needed a knockout, Adamek saved his best for the final round. The fighters stood toe to toe in the center of the ring. Adamek landed more power shots, but Glazkov was able to land just enough, despite losing his mouthpiece. The crowd was on its feet as the final bell rang, even though it was apparent that their favorite fighter’s rally was about to come up short.
The official scores were read of: 117-110, 117-111, 116-112. Main Events now has the #2 ranked IBF heavyweight in their stable, and his name is Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov.
The televised co-feature was a light heavyweight clash between Isaac Chilemba (22-2-2, 9 KO) and Denis Grachev (13-3-1, 8 KO). Main Events has made an investment by signing several fighters in the 175 lb. division highlighted by titlist Sergey Kovalev. With Champion Adonis Stevenson positioning himself to pursue a potential unification bout with the legendary Bernard Hopkins rather than the dangerous Kovalev, it made sense for Main Events to highlight Chilemba, who may eventually be fed to Kovalev this summer.
Chilemba, fighting out of South Africa, used his boxing skills and athleticism to keep Grachev at the end of his jab throughout the fight. Grachev, despite suffering a cut early, came forward throughout the fight. The raw and limited Grachev is of the school of eating two or three in order to land one showed a lot of heart. Unfortunately, that alone fails to impact the scorecards.
Chilemba gave Grachev an opportunity to turn the fight around in the eighth round when he decided to trade with the Russian, but that window of opportunity soon shut, and Chilemba went back to boxing in the final rounds.
Official Scores of: 100-90, 99-91, and 99-91 were accurately in favor of Chilemba, despite Grachev being a harder out than the scores reflected.
PHOTO CREDIT: Rich Graessle