Boxing is built upon the rise and fall of individual fortunes. Stars climb to their zenith, shine brightly, but finally burn out or simply explode.
And yet so many of those stars linger on the scene, long after their lights have gone dark.
This weekend in Poland, Tomasz Adamek returns to action against lightly regarded Solomon Haumono. At age 40, Adamek is a former top contender, now well past his prime.
Adamek started at light heavyweight and won the vacant WBC strap there way back in 2005, before dropping it to Chad Dawson in 2007.
From there he moved to cruiserweight, where he was one of the division’s best fighters for more than two years, collecting wins over Steve Cunningham and Johnathan Banks. He developed into a popular attraction in the New Jersey area, drawing crowds of his fellow Poles now living in the Northeast.
After moving to heavyweight, Adamek defeated Chris Arreola in 2009, to become a top-five contender. He fought a valiant fight in 2011 against the far larger Vitali Klitschko, before going down in Round 10 via TKO.
In 2012 and 2013, Adamek defeated journeymen Nagy Aguilera, Travis Walker and Dominick Guinn. He also got close decisions over contenders Eddie Chamber and in a rematch with Cunningham. I felt he didn’t deserve either of those decision.
Since 2014, Adamek has gone 1-3. The losses came to Vyacheslav Glazkov, his countryman Artur Szpilka and Eric Molina. Those are three respectable fighters, but none of them are top-10 contenders. That Adamek is still campaigning after that streak indicates that he is fighting at this point for paydays.
Haumano, 41, is an opponent who should keep him in the win column. The New Zealand native has a decent-looking record at 24-3-2, but aside from getting knocked out by Joseph Parker last July, his biggest claim to fame is being one of just two men that Kevin Johnson has defeated in his past nine fights.