Tomasz Adamek gets shot at a Klitschko
From the time Tomasz Adamek vacated the cruiserweight championship to move up to heavyweight in late 2009 the goal has always been the same for him and his promoters, Main Events and Ziggy Rozalski. They wanted to allow Adamek time to adjust to the new weight class, get a shot at the heavyweight title and make a good deal for that fight.
Adamek, who lives in Jersey City, N.J., but is from Poland -- where he is one of the nation's most famous athletes -- will get a heavyweight title opportunity in his home country against either champion Wladimir Klitschko or his title-holding older brother Vitali Klitschko in September after they signed an agreement on Monday, both camps told ESPN.com.
"I am ecstatic. I can't even put it into words," Main Events CEO Kathy Duva said. "To work so hard with Tomasz with a goal in mind -- moving him up to heavyweight, getting a heavyweight title fight. We got him there and we got a good deal."
Said Bernd Boente, who manages the Klitschko brothers, "We made some changes, their side and our side. We now agree on everything. We have a go from both sides for a fight in September."
The fight will take place at a new soccer stadium being built in either Warsaw or Wroclaw, Poland. Duva said there are four new stadiums being built in Poland for the 2012 European Soccer Championships and that two of the stadiums are bidding for the fight.
"There is this window of opportunity for this fight because of the stadiums being built in Poland," Duva said. "It will be a huge event in Poland."
Duva also said the fight would be the first-ever pay-per-view bout in Poland.
There is still some devil in the details. Adamek (43-1, 28 KOs) must win an interim bout being planned for April 16 (or possibly April 9) in Katowice, Poland. The opponent is not set yet, but it won't be anyone too formidable, not with a multi-million dollar deal to face a Klitschko looming. Adamek, who is 5-0 since his move to heavyweight, definitely won't be fighting former titleholder Samuel Peter in the tuneup.
"That's a pretty good bet," Duva said with a laugh.
The IBF had ordered a box-off between Peter and Adamek as part of its four-man tournament to produce a mandatory challenger for Wladimir Klitschko. Now that Adamek has a title shot, he does not need to fight an eliminator. Duva said the purse bid scheduled for Friday would be canceled. The Klitschko brothers also have interim bouts scheduled in Germany. Vitali Klitschko (41-2, 38 KOs) will make a mandatory defense against Odlanier Solis on March 19 in Cologne. Wladimir Klitschko (55-3, 49 KOs) will defend his belts against England's Dereck Chisora on April 30 in Mannheim.
If both Klitschkos were to lose, the deal with Adamek would be dead. If one loses, Adamek, a former light heavyweight titlist before winning the cruiserweight championship, would face the other brother under terms of the deal, Boente and Duva said.
If both Klitschkos win, the choice of Adamek's opponent would be decided by the Klitschko side.
"Either one, their option," Duva said. "We don't care which one it is. They have to tell us something like 90 days before the fight which one it will be. Tomasz's attitude is, 'I want a heavyweight title fight. I don't care which one of them I fight.'"
"Knock on wood, both brothers win their respective fights and then we will make a decision," Boente said.
However, if they both win it is likely to be Wladimir against Adamek, both sides said.
If titleholder David Haye of England comes back to the bargaining table with Wladimir, the setup could change.
Wladimir and Haye had been involved in heavy negotiations for a fight and made a deal contingent on finding a date agreeable to the German and British television networks they fight on, as well as a stadium in Germany. The earliest they could find that worked for all three was July 2. Klitschko said he was going to face Chisora first on April 30 in an interim bout, but Haye refused to allow him to. When Klitschko would not call off the fight with Chisora, Haye walked away from a probable eight-figure payday.
Simultaneous to the Klitschko-Haye deal imploding, Duva approached the Klitschko camp with the proposal for one of the brothers to fight Adamek in Poland and they quickly got the deal done.
"It took us less than three weeks to get this done," Duva said. "Everybody had the same objective -- to make the biggest, best event we can and everybody make the most money we can. We're very excited. This has been the plan for the 2½ years we've worked with Tomasz. This has been the goal and game plan. I'm happy it all came together and we are happy with the deal."
Although Haye and the Klitschkos have gone back and forth about various deals for the past couple of years, Duva said she had no problems reaching an agreement.
"I didn't have any of the problems other people talk about," she said. "I've had a long relationship with [Klitschko adviser] Shelly Finkel for something like 30 years and that probably helped. But when the time came to talk to Bernd, we were in synch right away. I know how to get a deal done. I didn't have any problem with them at all. And I had a fighter who said, 'This is what I want, please go out and get it.'"
Boente and Duva said they will visit the two stadiums and listen to their offers and will also talk with American networks HBO and Showtime. Boente said he preferred for the fight to be on Showtime after the brothers had a falling out with HBO.
Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.
MORE BOXING HEADLINES
- Marquez to fight Alvarado in elimination bout
- Porter to defend title vs. Malignaggi in April
- Huck fractures thumb, title defense called off
- Olympian Zhang goes pro, signs with Dynasty