Undefeated Adamek beats Briggs, retains WBC title

Originally Published: October 7, 2006
Associated Press

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Undefeated Tomasz Adamek outpointed No. 1 contender Paul Briggs in another bloody fight to retain the WBC light-heavyweight title Saturday night.

Adamek (31-0) survived a first-round knockdown, a bloody nose and left eye, and his own mishap, when he landed two low blows in the ninth and lost a point.

Judges Ken Morita and Ray Hawkins scored it 114-112 and 115-111 for Adamek, while Mauro DiFiore had it even at 113.

"I'm very happy," said Adamek, who had not fought in about a year. "It was a very long time not being in the ring. The long layover, that's why I didn't look so good."

Just like their first encounter at the United Center in May 2005, when Adamek won a majority decision to claim the vacant title, Briggs (25-3) came up bleeding in the second round -- only it wasn't the result of a head butt this time. And with Chicago's large Polish population, Adamek again had the crowd on his side.

"Look at my face and look at his," Briggs said. "I knocked him down. He had a point deduction for low blows. I blocked many of his punches. The Polish fans cheered regardless. The only thing I can guess is the judges were swayed by the Polish fans."

In his second title defense and first fight since a sixth-round knockout of Thomas Ulrich in October 2005, Adamek found himself on the canvas after taking a left to the head with just over a minute left in the first round.

Adamek landed a solid left-right combo in the second, and blood started to drip from a cut above Briggs' left eye. Fans sang the Polish national anthem as the third round began, but it was too soon to celebrate.

Adamek's nose started bleeding in the fourth, and Briggs landed a solid right to it in the fifth. Adamek landed several solid shots in the sixth, drawing a "Tomasz!" chant.

Adamek seemed to land more punches, while Briggs' were a little harder. Adamek started going to the body a little more, and that helped. He countered a Briggs left with a combo at the end of the eighth, but Adamek landed two low blows in the ninth -- one early and one late in the round. Briggs crumbled to the canvas after the first one, but he stayed on his feet after the second, which cost Adamek a point.

Briggs opened a cut above Adamek's left eye in the 11th and sent him staggering to the ropes with a hard right to the face in the 12th. Adamek landed a series of lefts and rights in the final minute, bringing the crowd to its feet.

Nate Campbell won a unanimous 12-round decision over Matt Zegan in an IBF lightweight championship elimination bout. Zegan got knocked down in the first and sixth rounds and bled from a cut alongside his right eyebrow over the final three.

Mike Mollo of suburban Oak Lawn, Ill., scored a second-round technical knockout over Kevin McBride, who beat Mike Tyson by a TKO in June 2005.

Former two-time WBC middleweight champion Keith Holmes won a unanimous 10-round decision over Cory Cummings in a light-heavyweight bout. Anges Adjaho won a six-round majority decision over Edgar Vargas in a super featherweight bout, middleweight Louis Turner won a unanimous six-round decision over David Estrada, and featherweight Justin Savi scored a second-round technical knockout of Terrance Roy.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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