Adamek KOs Banks to retain IBF title

NEWARK, N.J. -- Tomasz Adamek knocked out Johnathon Banks with a flurry of shots midway through the eighth round Friday night to retain his IBF cruiserweight title.

Adamek (37-1, 25 KOs), making his first defense after defeating Steve Cunningham for the title in December, sent Banks to the canvas with a right early in the eighth round. Banks (20-1) staggered to his feet and referee Eddie Cotton allowed the fight to continue, even though Banks appeared in no shape to go on.

The Polish champion closed in and let loose another flurry that dropped Banks in a heap in the corner, and Cotton finally waived the fight to an end at 1:30 of the round.

"The body punches were crucial because no matter who you are, after a while you start fighting slower," Adamek said. "We knew as the fight wore on he would wear down."

Fighting out of Detroit, Banks started strong and appeared ahead on the scorecards through four rounds. A right hand stunned Adamek in the opening round, and the champ went stumbling back toward his corner in the fourth after a right-left combination.

But Adamek, a native of Gilowice who now resides in Jersey City, N.J., gained momentum in the sixth round with left and right combinations. He then took control of the fight in the seventh round, landing one body shot after another that appeared to leave Banks tired as the bell sounded.

"As the fight went on I changed my strategy and started to connect with more body shots. I knew from the beginning that I needed to be patient," Adamek said. "I knew it was only a matter of time before my plan prevailed."

Cunningham was on hand for the bout and could be in line for a rematch of their thrilling fight last December, which Adamek won by split decision in the same arena.

On the undercard, middleweight Giovanni Lorenzo (27-1, 19 KOs) knocked out Colombia's Dionisio Miranda (19-3-2) in an eliminator to become the No. 1 contender for the IBF belt.

It was Lorenzo's first fight since suffering his first career loss, a stunning upset to Raul Marquez last June. In that fight, Lorenzo was deducted a point for a headbutt in the 10th round and ended up losing 114-113 on all three scorecards.