Polish Power: A look at the five best Poland-born fighters of all-time

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FROM SHOWTIME BOXING ANALYST STEVE FARHOOD

On Saturday, Nov. 1, Poland’s Andrzej Fonfara will headline a SHOWTIME BOXING: Special Edition at UIC Pavilion in Chicago.

Fonfara proved his toughness in May, when he nearly upset defending WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson in Montreal.

In Chicago, Fonfara (25-3) will battle the Congo’s Doudou Ngumbu.

Poland’s boxing fans may just be the most passionate in boxing. And the fighters have been special, too. Here are the five best Poland-born fighters of all-time.

  1. Dariusz Michalczewski: Titlist at both light heavy and cruiserweight. Best known as being the second-best 175-pounder during Roy Jones’ reign, but went 48-2 and made 23 successful defenses of the WBO title, and that ain’t shabby. Defeated among others Hall of Famer Virgil Hill, Montell Griffin, and Graciano Rocchigiani.
  1. Tomasz Adamek: At 37 and still competing as heavyweight. Is 49-3. Reigned as world titlist at both light heavy and cruiserweight. In 2009, stopped countryman Andrew Golota in Lodz, Poland. Bout was billed “Poland’s Fight Of The Century,” and roughly 25 percent of country’s population watched on TV. Always undersized, but all heart, all the time.
  1. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk: Cruiserweight is 49-3-1 and has been mainstay in division for eight years. Just lost WBC title in September. Has beaten Steve Cunningham and Danny Green.

Question for Vanna: Why hasn’t this fighter’s name been used on “Wheel Of Fortune”?

  1. Andrew Golota: Where to begin? I’ll try the end: Heavyweight fought for presumably final time in 2013 at age 45. Was talented, enigmatic, and unpredictable. Was twice beating Riddick Bowe, only to be DQ’d in both fights for repeatedly punching low. Beat Tim Witherspoon, drew with Chris Byrd, was stopped in one round by Lennox Lewis, and fought to macabre no-contest with Mike Tyson. Went 41-9-1, and contended for the  better part of a dozen years.
  1. Pawel Wolak: All-action junior middleweight performed like a wind-up toy. Went 29-2-1 and fought for last time in 2011. In that same year, drew with Delvin Rodriguez in strong candidate for fight of year. Finished that memorable brawl with right eye hideously swollen and shut. Beat Yuri Foreman and lost close decision to Ishe Smith.

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