Boxing: Adamek struggles show weakness of heavyweight division

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The Independent Online

Heavyweight boxing is still searching for a saviour to deliver it from its perilous state after Poland's over-hyped Tomasz Adamek went the full twelve rounds with American veteran Michael Grant on Saturday night in Newark, New Jersey.

In 2000, Grant – unbeaten in 31 fights at the time – was brutally exposed and knocked out by world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis in two savage rounds. Lewis retired in 2004 and the sport has been desperately searching for a replacement ever since.

Adamek, 33, will remain on a shortlist of fighters, including Sydney Olympic champion Audley Harrison, being considered as challengers to David Haye for the World Boxing Association heavyweight title on 13 November.

Another Lewis victim, Shannon Briggs, came off Haye's list when it was formally announced that he will fight current World Boxing Council champion Vitali Klitschko in Hamburg in October. Lewis knocked out Briggs in 1998 and Lewis stopped Klitschko, who, at 39, is the older of the two brothers, in 2003.

Meanwhile, Vitali's younger brother, Wladimir, will defend his two versions of the world heavyweight title against Nigeria's Samuel Peter next month in Frankfurt in a repeat of their 2005 fight, which Klitschko won on points after running in every round and slipping to the canvas several times. In October 2008, Peter was knocked out by Vitali in a dreadful WBC heavyweight title fight.

An announcement from Haye is expected soon but, sadly, it is unlikely to be confirmation of a fight against either of the Klitschko brothers in the near future. Instead, either Harrison – in a fight that would generate large sums of money – or Adamek – in a fight that should have vanished after Saturday's result – will get the chance to take part in the latest version of a heavyweight championship fight.