Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friday Recap: Adamek stops Banks, Johnson dominates Judah

Michael Nelson recaps the action from last night's Shobox and FNF cards.

Photo © Marty Rosengarten /

Fans were treated to an eventful night of boxing on Friday, as ShoBox produced two scintillating knockouts, both of which will be among the candidates for knockout of the year.

IBF Cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek KO’d Johnathon Banks in brutal fashion in the 8th round of a competitive bout, and Giovanni Lorenzo put Dionisio Miranda down for the count with a perfectly timed right hand in the 2nd round of their co-feature.

Earlier, Glen Johnson chopped down Daniel Judah over 10 rounds in the Friday Night Fights main event.


Johnathon Banks looked comfortable in the opening stanza against Adamek, controlling the action with a sharp jab thrown from his waist. Adamek patiently stalked the bigger man, but got caught with a right hand that stunned him momentarily. While Banks did not press his advantage, the jolting right hand and the several up-jabs he landed were enough to win him the round.

After Adamek’s corner preached patience, Tomasz slightly increased his pressure by pumping his jab a bit more. Banks, still in his comfort zone, found success with his jab as well. Both men were reluctant to let their hands go in a tense chess match.

Rounds 3-4 were more of the same, with Banks briefly buckling Adamek’s knees in the 3rd with a crushing counter left hook. But again, the cautious Banks, weary of Adamek’s powerful short right, never pressed his advantage.

Adamek upped his work rate in the 5th, landing several jabs. Banks still pumped his jab with regularity, with an occasional right to keep his increasingly more aggressive opponent honest. At this point, the stylistic similarities between Banks and Wladimir Klitschko (who Banks often spars with) were obvious: both try to dominate the action with a jab and a periodic big right hand or left hook, both ignore their opponent’s body, both select to hold on the inside instead of throw uppercuts, and both drape themselves onto an opponent’s back whenever their shorter foe bends forward, in an attempt to sap their stamina. While Emmanuel Steward was missing from Johnathon Banks’ corner, his imprint couldn’t have been clearer.

Adamek, now resolute in stepping up his pressure, gave Banks a quick 101 on the significance of a body attack in the 6th round and Banks was visibly bothered every time he got whacked with a left hook to the liver. In the 7th, Banks started turning his back to Adamek, a sign that he was beginning to wilt from Adamek’s body work and persistent jab to the mouth.

Banks landed hard right hand in the 8th that stunned Tomasz again, except this time, perhaps feeling it was his best shot at winning a fight that was slipping away from him, he attempted to follow up. His gas was nearing E though, and he was unable to land anything else significant.

Shortly after he recovered, Adamek landed a beautiful short right to Johnathon’s chin that put him on the canvas. Banks got up on rubbery legs, turned his back to referee Eddie Cotton and did all but say he he had no interest in further punishment, but Cotton wiped his gloves anyways and let Banks continue. Adamek trapped Banks in the corner and hit him with series of punches that rendered him nearly unconscious, slumped in a position eerily similar to how Kelly Pavlik left Jermain Taylor in 2007 (ironically, Taylor too was being trained by Emmanuel Steward at the time).

With the knockout victory, Adamek improved to 37-1 with 25 KOs. Johnathon Banks fell to 20-1 with 14 KOs.

In the IBF Middleweight title elimination that started the broadcast, Giovanni Lorenzo quickly imposed his superior pedigree and size over Dionisio Miranda. Miranda had one good moment in the bout; a long right hand in the 2nd round that snapped Lorenzo’s head back. His moment of glory was quickly truncated by a Lorenzo right that instantly transplanted Miranda on the canvas. Miranda struggled to his feet, but was unable to beat the referee’s count.

Giovanni Lorenzo, now facing a possible IBF title shot against Arthur Abraham, improved to 27-1 with 19 KOs. Dionisio Miranda dropped to 19-4-2 with 17 KOs.

Friday Night Fights...

Earlier in the night on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights, Glen Johnson, now an ageless wonder at 40 years old, dropped Daniel Judah in the first round en route to a workmanlike domination over his younger foe.

While Judah put up a respectable effort in the early going, by the middle rounds he was reduced to showboating and making faces, his way of handling the fact he was in with a far superior fighter. Johnson hurt him several times to the body throughout the bout, but failed to put him away. If there is a criticism to be made of Johnson, it’s that he often lets his wounded prey limp away instead of clamping down on the jugular. Nevertheless, it was another impressive performance by the Road Warrior, securing a 99-89, 99-90, and 99-90 unanimous decision.

Here’s hoping that we see him in with another one of the elite Light Heavyweights – if not Chad Dawson, Tavoris Cloud or Adrian Diaconu – sooner than later.

Glen Johnson is now 49-12-2, with 33 knockouts, while Daniel Judah fell to 23-4-3 with 10 knockouts.

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