Oliver McCall, SportsRatings' #22 ranked heavyweight, defeated Lance Whitaker on a unanimous but close decision Friday night.
And Saturday evening in Poland, former cruiserweight champ Tomasz Ademek beat Andrew Golota in a fifth-round stoppage.
McCall came out strong and attacked Whitaker from the bell, flooring him in the first round. But Whitaker recovered and with McCall somewhat spent, managed to hold on and keep the rest of the fight mostly even. All three judges called the fight identically, 95-94 for McCall. Subtract a 10-8 first round and Whitaker won five of the remaining rounds to McCall's 4. Still, McCall continues his unlikely comeback at age 44, and has a good chance of moving into the top 20.
Ademek outboxed Golota from the start, as the latter looked tired, out of shape, and slow. Meanwhile Ademek was fit, quick, and creative with his combinations. By the third round Ademek was clearly in control as Golota was looking only for the big punch that he couldn't connect. In the fourth round Ademek scored big with a long flurry, though Golota didn't look hurt. In the fifth round a sweet combination knocked Golota to the canvas. Not long after the fight was stopped as Golota seemed unwilling to fight back or protect himself.
McCall's win over Whitaker doesn't say much for either man; though McCall is winning lately he doesn't look capable of rising much farther or getting a title shot if he can't dominate Whitaker. Whitaker, of course, has to consider packing it in if he can't beat a 44-year-old fighter.
Ademek looked skillful and sharp but seemed to lack power that he'd need to go far as a heavyweight. He also didn't take any real shots to test his chin at the higher division. He hasn't decided whether he'll remain at cruiser or move up; this fight didn't give him any real clues as to what he should do. Money will probably determine his next move.
Golota, on the other hand, has to be done after that non-performance. In all the pre-fight photos he looked terrible, slouched over and out of shape. He came in at his highest weight and probably was in this affair, which was a big deal in Poland, for the money. He looked so different than any version of Golota I've seen that I wonder if he trained for the fight, or whether he might have an alcohol problem. He looked tired, sluggish, and out of shape, with none of the skills he showed not even that long ago. His reactions were slow, his defense poor; Golota should retire.