Pawel “Raging Bull” Wolak Interview - Fighting on Foreman vs Cotto Boxing Card By Ken Hissner (June 4, 2010) Doghouse Boxing
Pawel “Raging Bull” Wolak, 26-1 (17), will meet James Moore, 17-2 (10), out of New York via Ireland on the big Yuri Foreman Miguel Cotto, HBO “World Championship Boxing” card Saturday at Yankee Stadium. For Wolak it will be one step closer to cracking the top 10 of the organizations. He is currently #11 WBA, #13 IBF, #14 WBC, #4 USBA and #5 NABF. Speaking of the NABF, Vanes Martirosyan, 27-0, defends that title against Joe Greene, 22-0, also on the undercard. There’s the chance in the future the two winners may meet on this Top Rank promotion. “I know Moore will be a tough fight but with a win I would hope the two winners would fight in a NABF title bout,” said Ivan Edwards (Manager). Both Wolak and Moore are big ticket sellers.
Wolak now out of Mt. Arlington, NJ, came to this country from Poland at the age of 9 never realizing it would be boxing that would put him in the spotlight. At 17 he started his amateur career having about 50 fights before turning professional in July of 2004. He had 7 wins in just over a year before meeting Julio Jean, 7-5-1, a tough Haitian, who had defeated Nigerian Eromosele Albert, 10-0, in his previous fight. Wolak stopped Jean in the 5th round.
“While training for Clarence “Sonny Bono” Taylor, 9-6-2, Wolak was sparring with then WBC welterweight champion Zab Judah who was hitting him on the hip,” said Edwards. This must have been practice for what Judah was to do in his defense with Carlos Baldomir when he hit him while receiving the instructions prior to the fight on the hip with a good whack. “Wolak got through the Taylor fight all right but we had to postpone several other fights due to the hip,” said Edwards.
Next up some 7 months later it would be Dennis Sharpe, 17-1-3, of Bayonne, in Wolak’s 10th fight. A head butt opened a cut over the right eye of Wolak in the 1st round. It was a good fight until the end of the 5th round when Sharpe didn’t come out at the bell. Wolak continued his unbeaten streak taking on Dan Wallace, 9-1, in his 17th fight, for the IBA America’s title. Wolak easily scored a 4th round stoppage.
The first time this writer saw Wolak was in his next fight in November of 2007, in Wildwood, NJ, defeating former “The Contender’s” Jonathan Reid, 34-7, in 4 rounds. He has a crowd pleasing pressure type style. In his next fight he would travel back to his native Poland to meet veteran Sammy Sparkman, 20-16-1, for the Polish International title and win a hard fought decision. Sparkman had wins in Montreal over Renan St. Juste, 8-0-1 and Hercules Kyvelos, 24-2, so he had more experience out of the country than Wolak.
The year 2008 started well for Wolak as he defeated Dupre Strickland, 18-2-1, in 2 rounds at Madison Square Garden. He followed up with an easy win over Troy Browning, 20-1-1, for the Interim WBC USNBC title. Browning had defeated Julio Cesar Garcia, 40-2, over ESPN2 but lost to Delvin Rodriguez by decision in his next fight before meeting Wolak.
In August of 2008 Wolak would suffer his only defeat to date losing a decision to another “The Contender’s” Ishe Smith, 19-3, over 10 rounds in a close fight. Smith had wins over former light welter champ Randall Bailey, 27-3, and Ahmad, Kaddour, 18-0. A change came about after this with new trainers Tommy Brooks and Aroz “Terrific” Gist taking over. Just 56 days later Wolak scored a knockout and followed this up with stopping Norberto Bravo, 27-16-3, another from “The Contender”, in 3 rounds. He wasn’t over with that show’s fighters when he defeated Vinroy Barrett, 22-7, shutting him out over 10 rounds. It seemed Barrett was only interested in surviving.
In October of 2009 Brazil’s Carlos Nascimento, 24-1, was brought into Madison Square Garden, under a pair of world title bouts, Wolak dropped him in the 5th round. Nascimento’s corner refused to let him out for the 6th. Nascimento’s only loss previously was to Sergiy Dzinziruk in a WBO title bout in Germany where he was stopped in the 11th round. In January of this year Wolak met Ishmail Arvin, 15-1-4, at the Garden, and posted a lopsided decision win. Arvin had wins over Jose Angel Rodriguez, 12-0, and Anthony Thompson, 17-3-2.
This writer asked Wolak’s manager if he was offered a vacant USBA title bout and why they haven’t fought at heavily Polish populated Newark’s Prudential Center where Tomasz Adamek has helped fill those seats. In April of 2009 without Adamek Irish John Duddy was the main event losing for the first time to Billy Lyell. A Duddy-Wolak fight would have been perfect. “I have negotiated with the matchmaker J. Russell Peltz to fight there but we were never able to come to terms. We tried to fight Lyell after that but that didn’t come about either,” said Edwards. “As far as the USBA goes we were negotiating for that vacant title when we signed with Top Rank and they thought it best to go in another direction,” added Edwards.
Through Wolak’s PR man Kurt Wolfheimer I was able to contact Wolak for some questions and found the boxer very easy to talk to.
KEN HISSNER: You came to the US at an early age and tried kick boxing first. Was that your goal?
PAWEL WOLAK: I actually thought I would be better suited for MMA since I was a wrestler in school.
KEN HISSNER: When you went back to Poland it was decided to take on an American. How come?
PAWEL WOLAK: We wanted someone competitive and Sammy Sparkman was tough. The people received me well.
KEN HISSNER: After the Ishe Smith fight you changed your team around I understand.
PAWEL WOLAK: Yes, we added Tommy Brooks and Terrific (Aroz Gist) and it has worked well. I am a hard gym worker and always prepare well.
KEN HISSNER: Are you still training at Gleasons in New York?
PAWEL WOLAK: No, I train in several gyms in the Passaic area of New Jersey now.
KEN HISSNER: What kind of a fight do you expect from James Moore?
PAWEL WOLAK: Like myself, he seems to like to mix it up and that suits me fine.
KEN HISSNER: I gather they expect a big crowd at Yankee Stadium?
PAWEL WOLAK: They are talking about 30,000 people.
KEN HISSNER: Now that you are signed with Top Rank, possibly the top promotional team in the world, I look for you to break into the ratings top ten soon. How come you haven’t fought in Newark?
PAWEL WOLAK: That is the plan. I look forward to the big fights. I would love to fight there. For some reason it just hasn’t worked out.
KEN HISSNER: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer some questions and look forward to our next interview.
PAWEL WOLAK: Thank you and I look forward to that.
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