Adamek - Cunningham II; A Christmas in the "Little Town of Bethlehem"
Adamek - Cunningham II; A Christmas in the "Little Town of Bethlehem"
By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (Oct 26, 2012) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Mike Gladysz)
Steve “USS” Cunningham (L) -  Tomasz “Goral” Adamek (R)
It was four years ago that Tomasz “Goral” Adamek, 47-2 (29), from Zywiec, POL, and now out of Jersey City, NJ, and Philadelphia’s Steve “USS” Cunningham, 25-4 (12) met at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, where Adamek took the IBF Cruiserweight title on a split decision. Now the site is the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, PA, over NBC on December 22nd in the “Little Town of Bethlehem” just days prior to Christmas! This will be a 12 round IBF North American title defense for Adamek.

Main Events and Ziggy Promotions held a luncheon and press conference Tuesday at the Wisla Club in Garfield, NJ. Adamek, promoter’s Kathy Duva and Ziggy Rozalski were at the main table along with the combatants, Cunningham trainer Naazim Richardson and Darryl Peoples of the IBF.

“This will be an afternoon show (4pm EST) over NBC at the Sands Casino. We tried to get the Prudential but it was booked. We have promoted at the Sands and it’s a beautiful venue that we plan to fill,” said Duva. Asking Duva why there wasn’t a rematch right away due to it being considered a “fight of the year” she said “it was over Versus and we couldn’t get HBO or Showtime to take it”.

Both fighters are very respectful to each other and both now under contract to Main Events. “I want to thank Kathy Duva to once again co-promote with me. She makes it easy because she does all the work. This should be a tremendous fight. May the better man win,” said Ziggy. Richardson said “one of the toughest spirited boxers I ever worked for is Cunningham”. Cunningham acknowledged his team including his wife Livvy, who serves as manager, Richardson and cut-man/ass’t trainer Buddy Osborn.

“I’ve wanted this rematch since the time we last fought. I thank the IBF, who sticks to their rules and made my trips to Europe (7) much easier. May this bring glory to my God,” said Cunningham, the former two-time IBF Cruiserweight champ.

“Tomasz never put in a bad performance,” said Duva. Adamek added “I know Steve wanted this rematch since I took his title in 2008”. This will be an IBF eliminator for the vacant No. 2 spot with the winner meeting the No. 1 contender Kubrat Pulev, 17-0 (9), of Bulgaria, who is European and IBF International champion, in order to get a title shot with champion Wladimir Klitschko. All but 3 of Pulev’s fights have been in Germany.

Since their first meeting Adamek has had 12 fights winning all but a WBC title fight with Vitali Klitschko, brother of Wladimir. Cunningham has had 6 fights in regaining his IBF title before losing it. Cunningham is 36 and Adamek will be 36 December 1st. Cunningham made his heavyweight debut in his last fight and plans to come in at about 210. Adamek has been 9-1 as a heavyweight and plans to come in at about 220.

Both fighters are very likeable and especially Adamek whom Duva calls “a man of few words” is extremely humble. Cunningham plans to “win this fight” though not talking about how he plans on doing it. In their first fight Cunningham fought Adamek’s fight by being very aggressive. He was knocked down in 3 separate rounds. All of the other rounds were mostly won by Cunningham with matchmaker J Russell Peltz having Adamek a 1 point winner while this writer gave Cunningham the edge.

Now with a good 10 pound weight advantage and twice as active since their first meeting only gives Adamek that much more of an edge. He came off the canvas in his last fight against Travis Walker to come back and stop his opponent. Both Cunningham and Adamek were on the same card in September. About a dozen members of the press were present. Publicist Ellen Haley of Main Events saw to it as usual all members of the press were well taken care of leading up to and including the press conference. There are 3 other bouts currently scheduled with locals Will Miranda and Jerome Rodriguez in a 6 and a 4 rounder. PA lightweight champion Niam Nelson of Philadelphia will be in an 8 rounder.


E-mail questions, comments to Ken Hissner

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