Mike’s missed opportunity

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: August 24, 2010

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NEW YORK (BASN) — When Michael Grant received the opportunity to fight Tomasz Ademek, the 6-foot-7, 250-plus pounder from Pennsylvania was presented with the chance to bump the Polish favorite from possibly challenging either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko for a world heavyweight championship.

All he had to do was to let his right hand go. Adamek was so wide open to get hit flush with Grant’s right hand, it was ridiculous. Grant, who weighed in at 261 pounds, had a 44-pound edge over the 6-foot-1, 217-pound favorite.

Grant badly hurt Adamek in the twelfth round and was moments away from finishing him, but allowed the opportunity to slip away. “I knew he was gone,” Grant said.

“He was running. I knew he was hurt. I tried to get him out of there. It was like a cat and mouse game. He kept moving and moving.”

Instead of simply letting his hands go and attack with the right hand, Grant (46-4,34KOs) was cautious behind his left jab and dropped a unanimous decision to Adamek (42-1, 27 KOs) in front of 10,972 people at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Saturday.

The judges scored the bout 118-110, 118-111, and 117-111.

At age 38, Grant’s return to the big stage in such a competitive showing perhaps spelled a sudden resurrection in his career.”I never left,” Grant said.

More than 10 years ago, Grant was considered to be the next American heir apparent to the world heavyweight championship. He had the athletic build, the shape, the physique, a unique structure and image of what a strong heavyweight champion should look like.

Grant was quite appealing, but when the going got rough he simply didn’t have the mental make-up of what it took to become a great fighter. Grant was chastised immensely for his losses to Lennox Lewis, Jameel McCline, and Dominick Guinn.

However, 10 years has passed from his loss to Lewis in what was the biggest stage of his career fighting for the world heavyweight championship at Madison Square Garden and five years removed from his previous loss, a shocking drumming at the hands of a young upstart Guinn.

Grant, after winning eight consecutive bouts, somehow found himself on the grand stage once again. Grant stood all alone amongst the thousands in attendance that wore the colors of Polish flag.

Instead of looking like a huge piece of pig-steak getting ready to be served as a main entre, Grant embraced the opportunity to return to the big stage in a pay-per-view main event against a rising heavyweight contender.

The African-American knew that a big performance against a possible future title challenger that can draw legions of fans to the Prudential Center would resurrect his career in a sport that has been depleted of top American heavyweights.

Grant probably didn’t have Adamek’s speed, but he did have a big man’s punch. Grant’s left jab drove Adamek backwards. The left jab made Adamek think twice about attacking Grant without caution.

The difference between the two was that Adamek is a former world champion, but as a light-heavyweight. Adamek’s hand skills and movement around the ring was more fluent and simply better than Grant’s. He showed some good combination-punching patterns and managed to outwork Grant.

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“Adamek brought to be his movement,” Grant said. “He moved well on his feet — in and out.” But in the heavyweight division, one punch can change the tide of a fight.

“The first round was fluky,” Grant added. “I caught him with a right hand and all of a sudden the bell wrung. I was like ‘what happened.’”

Grant seriously stunned Adamek on several occasions in the fight, but in the twelfth and final round, the American had Adamek staggering around the ring.

“I cut the ring off well,” Grant said. “I hurt him with a big right hand and hurt him.

The crowd was silent momentarily, as Adamek struggled to keep his balance. Adamek was open for the right uppercut, a punch he hurt Adamek with earlier in the fight. Instead of pressing for the biggest KO of his career, Grant simply let Adamek off the hook. Grant allowed Adaemk to escape and move on to bigger fights.

“You haven’t seen the last of me,” Grant concluded.

The Undercard: 2008 U.S. Olympian Sadam Ali (9-0, 5 KOs) knocked out Lenin Arroyo (20-13-1, 4 KOs) at 2:46 seconds of the fifth round of a scheduled 8-round welterweight bout.

Five-time New York Golden Gloves Champion and junior lightweight prospect Shemuel Pagan (1-0) was successful in his professional debut against Raul Rivera (0-3), via unanimous decision.

Jr. middleweight Joel Julio (36-4, 31 KOs) won a unanimous 10-round decision against Jamaal Davis (12-7, 6 KOs). Junior welterweight Jeremy Bryan (14-1, 7 KOs) stopped Daniel Mitchell (5-2-1, 2 KOs) in the first round.

Star Boxing returns to Capitale

On Thursday September 16th, Star Boxing and The Empire Sports and Entertainment will present an exciting and entertaining night of professional boxing at the New York City’s famous and luxurious Capitale located in downtown Manhattan.

Headlining the card will be the newest addition to Star Boxing’s growing stable, Huntington’s undefeated, Chris Algieri (10-0, 5KO’s), as he takes on upset-minded Martin Tucker (7-6, 3KO’s) in an eight round jr. welterweight contest.

“We are excited to be bringing a night of thrilling boxing entertainment to the Capitale with The Empire,” stated Joe DeGuardia, CEO and President of Star Boxing. “It is always great to do shows in NYC and The Capitale is a premier banquet hall that provides for classic boxing.”

“We expect a sellout, so get your tickets early!”

“I am thrilled to be working with my good friend Joe DeGuardia on Capitale Punishment II,” stated Greg Cohen, President and Founder of The Empire Sports and Entertainment. “We are going to put on a terrific show and expect to pack the house once again.”

“The New York fans definitely won’t want to miss this event.”

A complete undercard will be announced shortly. Tickets are currently on sale and are being priced at $200, $150, and $50. Tickets may be purchased by calling Star Boxing at (718)823-2000. For information on discounted $150 seats for advanced purchase call now!

For more information, visit www.starboxing.com or www.theempirese.com.