Enlarge Jose "Mangu" Peralta of Jersey City (left) hits Eber Luis Perez of Bolivar, Colombia during their boxing match this evening at the Prudential Center which Peralta won in a 3 round TKO. Newark, NJ 4/9/11 (Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger) Boxing at Prudential Center 4-9-11 gallery (23 photos)

The Polish national anthem reverberated through the Prudential Center Saturday night once again. On nights when Tomasz Adamek fights here, Newark seems to turn as red and white as Warsaw.

This city, and this building, have been good to Adamek, the 34-year-old Polish-born heavyweight who now calls Kearny home. Saturday night, in front of a crowd of 7,653, marked the seventh time Adamek fought at the arena. Each time he’s left the ring victorious.

Though Adamek has fought 45 times in his career — and, after a unanimous decision victory against Kevin McBride (35-9-1), won 44 of those fights — he has done so as a heavyweight just six times.

The former cruiserweight has bumped up in weight for the wealth and fame heavyweight can provide. And as Adamek has made the transition, Newark has helped nurture his fledgling heavyweight career. Now he will depart the city that has become a stronghold for the biggest fight of his career.

Adamek owns the IBF International and WBO NABO heavyweight belts, but last night cleared the last hurdle between him and a fight for the belt he truly desires.

Next up is Vitali Klitschko, the Ukranian giant who holds the WBC world heavyweight title. Klitschko and Adamek will meet Sept. 10 in Poland.

Adamek could have remained idle. At risk was injury or a shock defeat, both of which capable of capsizing the already-signed shot at Klitschko.

Yet, outweighing those risks was another shot at tuning for a champion who poses a strategic and physical challenge to Adamek.

Adamek, at 6-1, 215 pounds, ceded six inches and 70 pounds to his burly opponent — a preview of the size deficit he will face against Klitschko. After the fight, Adamek labeled his 12 rounds in the ring with McBride “practice” for his title fight.

What he lacked in size, he gained in quickness. Adamek circled the lumbering McBride, firing combinations to which the 37-year-old could not react in time to defend. Often, McBride resorted to grabbing, or stepping on Adamek’s foot to slow him down.

“He’s a hard man to catch,” McBride said. “Speed is power. He has a lot of speed and there is a bit of power.”

Adamek was wisely patient, as well. Knowing it would be nearly impossible to fell McBride with a single blast, Adamek gradually wore him down. First bruising, then droplets of blood, eventually reddened McBride’s face.

Adamek was content to take what McBride allowed — he would attack the head and body with equal zeal and regularity. Adamek was patient, though he never ceased circling and engaging McBride. “None of his punches hurt me,” Adamek said.

For Adamek, there were fewer highlights than expected. He rocked McBride with a right hook in the sixth and seventh rounds. In the tenth, Adamek again stunned McBride with the right hand.

“The plan we had for Kevin McBride we executed perfectly,” Adamek’s trainer Roger Bloodworth said. “Tonight he put on the perfect show.”

McBride was expected to go down easily in wake of Adamek’s relentless attack, but he persevered for the duration. But at the final bell, Adamek showed few signs of wear. McBride had done little to dent the man, or his chances at a title in September.

* * *

Vinny O'Brien (2-0) began the evening with a technical knockout victory, the second of his career, over fellow welterweight Shakir Dunn (0-1), hailing from Newark.

O'Brien, who is a native of East Hanover, had enough stamina and power to outlast Dunn and end the fight with nine seconds remaining in the fourth and final round.

Initially, Dunn stunned O'Brien. Two judges gave the first round to Dunn, who left a bruise on O'Brien's forehead. It was the only mark of success Dunn would earn on the evening.

O'Brien staggered Dunn with a left hook to the head late in the second round. By that point, O'Brien was moving much more than Dunn, whose energy waned as the fight progressed, and was the more aggressive puncher, particularly to the body, a trend that also continued through the end of the bout.

"I came out cold," O'Brien said. "I didn't wake up until the second round. And once I woke up, he was dying out."

Near the end of the fight, Dunn resorted to draping himself on O'Brien each time the East Hanover native looked to engage action. Once referee Allen Huggins decided that was Dunn's only tactic, Huggins ended the fight.

"The one thing I did wrong was let him drape himself on me, hold himself up," O'Brien said. "I should have got him out quicker than I did."

* * *
Junior Welterweight Jose "Mangu" Peralta advanced to 6-1 with his fourth career knockout. Peralta, from Jersey City, bloodied Eber Louis Perez (10-17-1), a Colombia native, from the opening round.

In the second round, Peralta stunned Perez with a right hook, then left to the head. Moments later, Perez was on his knee to catch his breath.

Perez returned for the third round, his nose bleeding and his right cheek spattered with blood. He didn't make it out of the round, however.

With 11 seconds remaining, Peralta's left hook -- the most powerful weapon in the ring -- put Perez onto the canvas, ending the fight.

Both O'Brien and Peralta will return to action at the Prudential Center on May 20.

* * *
Featherweight Rafael Lora, fighting out of Irvington, began the match against Josellito Collado with a flurry. Through the first round, Lora was more active, throwing an array of power punches with his left and right hand.

The fight turned in the second round when an accidental headbutt opened a gash above Collado's left eye. The cut began spilling blood, which dripped down Collado's chest. In each successive round, the blood reappeared.

Suddenly, the Queens product was on his heels. Lora (11-4) circled, waiting for chances to plant his right hook, which he threw powerfully but wildly, against Collado's head. Lora, however, became too patient.

His work rate dropped, and Collado, the more accurate puncher, began to release more punches.

In the fourth round, perhaps desperate due to the cut above his eye, Collado twice hit Lora below the belt, resulting in the deduction of a point. Still, he out-worked Lora.

When the final bell rang, after six rounds, Collado (12-0) was the winner on the judges' scorecards by split decision.

* * *

In other undercard action, Andrzej Fonfara, of Poland, knocked out Ray Smith, from Little Rock, Ark., in the fourth round. Fonfara is 17-2 and Smith fell to 9-6.

Sadam Ali, 12-0, floored Puerto Rican Javier Perez (8-5) with three consecutive left hooks to the chin in the third round. It was Ali's seventh victory via knockout.