Heavyweight Kevin McBride (35-8-1, 29 KOs) will fight Tomasz Adamek (43-1, 28 KOs) this Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark.
“When I fought Mike Tyson, I said I would shock the world. This time round I am saying I want to upset the world, or at least Poland, when I upset Adamek’s plans,” McBride, a native of Clones, Co. Monaghan, told the Irish Voice on Monday.
McBride has split his preparations for this fight between Boston and New York.
The 37-year-old has been working with Goody Petronelli and fitness trainer Radovan Serbula in Brockton and Brookline respectively, and then traveled to New York to get some sparring at the Universal Boxing Gym in Ozone Park under the watchful eye of Nirmal Lawrick.
“He has been working with strength trainer Radovan Serbula six days a week, and he has been training hard,” McBride’s manager Jerry Quinn told the Irish Voice on Monday.
The pair will fight a 12-rounder for the IBF International Heavyweight and NABO Heavyweight Championship belts. The bout was originally scheduled for April 24, but was moved back to April 9 so as not to clash with Easter weekend.
Losing two weeks was a blow, but McBride and his team rolled with the punches.
The date change forced McBride to head down to New York sooner to get some sparring done, as getting suitable partners for the fighter is difficult in Boston.
Quinn expects that McBride will weigh in around the 280 pound range for this fight.
“I am going to stand in the center of the ring and use the jab,” said McBride. “He has to look good, I have no pressure on me. I will grab him and hold him. I will do what I have to do to win.”
Quinn told the Irish Voice that McBride has been seeing hypnotist Patrick Brady as part of his preparations “to work with his mind and keep him mentally strong.” McBride says the work he has been doing with Brady was to make sure there are “no doubts and no fears.”
McBride, who was last in action when he lost a split decision to Matt Skelton in the semifinal of the heavyweight Prizefighter series in London on October 9, went on to say that he is dedicating the fight to his two children, Caoimhin and Grainne.
“Your power never leaves you, and I believe I have the punch to win,” he added.
Petronelli, Lawrick, Moses Roman, Jr. and Quinn will make up McBride’s team on fight night.
Adamek is a former light heavyweight and cruiserweight world champion who last fought on December 9 when he had a fifth round TKO win over Vinny Maddalone. The 34-year old is unbeaten in five outings as a heavyweight.
The Polish fighter has signed a deal to fight one of the Klitschko brothers in September, and the fight against the Irishman is reportedly an opportunity for Adamek to hone his skills against a tall opponent.
"I do not look past McBride or take him for granted. This is boxing, one punch can change the situation, just one punch can change everything,” said Adamek in the run up to the fight. “This is my test before Klitschko. I respect McBride."
The McBride camp is under no illusions as to the size of the challenge that awaits.
“They are not giving us much of a chance, but they didn’t give us much of a chance with Mike Tyson either,” said Quinn, who had this message for fans of McBride:
“I believe in him and I still believe in him. We won’t disappoint them and we are coming down to win.” Tickets are at www.ticketmaster.com
Meanwhile, according to boxrec.com, Mayo light middleweight Henry Coyle (13-2) is also in action this Saturday night at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana against a yet-to-be-named opponent.
In other news, middleweight Matthew Macklin (28-2, 19 KOs) has pulled out of his fight with Khoren Gevor (31-5, 16 KOs) on April 16 at Manchester's M.E.N. Arena, citing problems with his contract as the reason for the decision. The fight was meant to be a title eliminator, with the winner to get a shot at WBA champion Felix Sturm.
However, speculation is rife that Macklin is set to announce that he will challenge Sturm for the title in the summer.
Ghevor’s people are reportedly very unhappy with the development.
“To suggest there are contract problems is ridiculous,” said Ghevor’s manager Peter Schuke, according to irish-boxing.com. Schuke went on to say that Macklin was avoiding his fighter.
Finally, in local news, heavyweight Tom Hardwick has set a date for his professional debut as a boxer.
The Dubliner will fight on May 19 at the Roseland Ballroom. More to come on Hardwick’s debut in the coming weeks.