Charles Adamu Beaten
MONTREAL (CP) - Otis Grant of Canada scored a 12-round unanimous decision over African champ Charles Adamu of Ghana.
"Whoever they want me to fight, I'll fight," said Grant, ranked as the No. 4 contender by the WBC. "I'm not looking for the easy way to the top, I'm looking for the fastest way."
Time has become a factor for the 37-year-old Grant, the former WBO middleweight champion who returned to the ring in 2003 after a five-year layoff recovering from wounds suffered in a near-fatal car crash.
The longer he waits for a shot at WBC title-holder Markus Beyer of Germany, the more age will become a question, as it did after his often-tedious battle with Adamu.
Howard Grant, the brother and trainer of Otis, disagreed.
"I don't think he looked old, he just didn't execute the game plan we had for this guy," said Howard Grant. "I hope that with this performance, the top guys will think maybe they'll fight Otis.
"It wasn't his best performance, but this guy (Adamu) was very awkward."
Grant expected Adamu to come out swinging, as he had done in previous fights. Instead, the 27-year-old Ghanaian waited for openings and then charged in with flurries of punches, most of them blocked.
Combined with Grant's patient, counter-punching, southpaw style, it didn't make for lively entertainment and many in the crowd of about 7,000 booed.
The building got lively in the eighth, when Grant came off the ropes to drop Adamu with a left to the jaw, but except for a brief charge by the Ghanaian, the fight settled back into a game of patience and the grumbling from the seats resumed.
Promoter Yvon Michel, who was pleased at the gate from perhaps the biggest card Grant has headlined in his home city, does not expect world champions to think him vulnerable and line up for a shot.
"With Otis being left handed and having good defence, no one can look good against him," said Michel.
Adamu's entourage suggested that Grant benefited from hometown judging, but the Ghanaian was never in control and didn't land enough punches to unseat a champion in any setting.
Dr. Don Arthur, Adamu's manager, had kind things to say about Grant.
"Otis is a very good boxer," he said. "He's loved by all and sundry, not only in Canada, for the selfless work he does that warms the heart of everyone."
Grant holds a degree in recreational science from Concordia University, is a former high school counsellor and runs a foundation to help troubled youths.
He won the vacant WBO middleweight belt with a 12-round decision over Ryan Rhodes in the latter's hometown of Sheffield, England in 1997 and defended it once before dropping the belt to take a shot at superstar Roy Jones Jr. and the WBC light-heavyweight title.
Grant was battered for 10 rounds by Jones before his corner threw in the towel. Only weeks later, his car was slammed by a motorist going the wrong way on a highway.
Grant swerved so that he could take the brunt of the collision because his daughter and boxer Hercules Kyvelos were also in the car. They were unhurt, but Grant suffered massive injuries and still has a jarring row of twisted pink scars down his left side.
After five years of rehab and recovery, he decided to try to be a world champion again, if only he can convince a titleholder to take him on.
"If this fight makes me look attractive and a guy chooses me (for a title fight), that's tremendous," said Grant.