When two fighters step into the ring, they learn something about each other. Be it sparring, or a real fight, opinions are formed, subtleties are noted.
This Saturday, former cruiserweight world champion Tomasz Adamek (49-2, 29 KOs) will fight Vyacheslav Glazkov (16-0-1, 11 KOs) in a 12-round IBF heavyweight title eliminator. The bout will take place at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and will be televised by NBC Sports Network at 9 p.m.
This, however, will not be the first time they have looked across the ring from each other. Adamek and Glazkov were once sparring partners, having worked against each other last July. Word spread on the internet, that the young Glazkov got the better of Adamek in sparring. On a conference call with reporters earlier this week, both fighters downplayed their previous ring encounter.
“My opinion is sparring is sparring, and fighting is a different story," said Adamek, who is 37. "You have small gloves, no head gear and millions of people in the world watching you. It’s a different game. I’m looking not for what was, but what is in the future. The fight is important, and I want to show my class, my experience and win this fight.”
Added Glazkov, “I agree that sparring is sparring, and a bout is a different story.”
But Glazkov's trainer, Eduard Menshekov, disagreed. "My opinion, of course it's better if the fighters have sparred, so trainers from both sides can see some plusses and minuses and they can work on it."
Adamek and Glazkov, 29, were scheduled to meet last November but the fight was rescheduled after Adamek withdrew just days prior to the match because of a stomach flu. Adamek comes into this fight with a seven-month layoff and having fought only once in the last 15 months.
"I'm not concerned with the layoff," said Adamek's trainer, Roger Bloodworth. "He's a fighter with a lot of experience. Most of your world champions don't fight every month. That's important for a young fighter, to keep busy. But when you're at a certain level, your conditioning and your experience will tell."
The winner of this fight will be in position to face IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. Adamek challenged Vitali Klitschko for the WBC title in 2011, but suffered a TKO loss in 10 rounds. Since then, he has won five straight.
“I never think about losing,” said Adamek. “Because if you start thinking about that, you better not go into the ring. I am ready for a war.”
Both Adamek and Glazkov are promoted by Main Events.
"My prospective as a promoter is that I’ve promised the television network to give them the best fights I possibly can," said Main Events CEO Kathy Duva. "I am not the fighter’s manager. They both have very capable management, and so we present opportunities to them and they decide if they want to take them or not. So this opportunity arose and we presented it. Both gentlemen are convinced they are going to win, and that’s how good fights get made, when both sides believe they are going to win.”
Glazkov, who represented Ukraine in the Olympics, was asked on the conference call about the conflict in his homeland. ""This my country, and I've got my family over there, and I'm concerned and worried about it. I hope that the politics are going to stop soon," he said. "I'm going to try to fight a good bout, and I hope that some people are going to pay more attention to my bout then are going to be involved in that terrible situation that's going on in my country."