Adamek wins Split Dec over Cunningham in Rematch - Ringside Boxing Report
Adamek wins Split Dec over Cunningham in Rematch - Ringside Boxing Report
By Ken Hissner at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (Dec 23, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
Tomasz “Goral” Adamek
Tomasz Adamek
It has been 4 years since Tomasz “Goral” Adamek, 48-2 (29), of Gilowice, POL, now residing in Jersey City, NJ, defeated Steve “USS” Cunningham, 25-5 (12), of Philadelphia by split decision to win Cunningham’s IBF cruiserweight title. Saturday night at the Sand’s Casino in Bethlehem, PA, the two were in another barn burner with the same outcome!

Main Events, Ziggy Promotions, Peltz Boxing, and DiBella Entertainment over the NBC Sports Network put on a great show top to bottom. The fan’s packed the arena and though there were more Adamek fans yelling “Adamek and Polska” than Cunningham’s fans were yelling “USA, USA”, the fans didn’t take kindly to the decision. When Michael Buffer announced Debra Barnes scored it 115-115 they let out with a howl! Buffer than announced Dave Greer 116-112 Adamek and Tom Miller 115-113 Cunningham “we have a draw”. PA Executive Secretary Greg Sirb jumped into the ring taking Barnes card from Buffer and marking it 115-112 (later changed to 115-113) for Adamek by split decision. Everyone was confused. Adamek had the belt on and Cunningham was up on the ropes to the cheering of his many fans.

Cunningham left the ring as Adamek was being interviewed.

In the fight, Cunningham came out using a jab that Adamek couldn’t contend with for 4 rounds. Cunningham would start each round on the attack before Adamek would become the aggressor after about the minute mark. Cunningham would counter with his jab and when the pounding of the timekeeper’s hammer of the 10 second warning Adamek would open up. “This was our plan,” said Roger Bloodworth, Adamek’s trainer. Adamek’s bottom lip was bleeding but he never took a back step trying to press Cunningham to the ropes.

By the mid-point DHB (Doghouse Boxing) had Cunningham ahead 5 rounds to 1. Cunningham buckled Adamek’s legs in the sixth with a right hand after an Adamek miss. In the seventh Cunningham started to slow down as Adamek’s strength was bringing him back into the fight. Same thing for the eighth round. Cunningham started spitting and had a weak smile on his face when Adamek scored punches. Cunningham came back in the ninth even though several right hands knocked his head back in the last 10 seconds to possibly steal the round.

In the tenth the fighters banged heads. The fighters were scoring with exchanges but Cunningham found himself on the ropes once too often as his trainer Nazim Richardson pleaded with him to stay off the ropes and box. Cunningham was forcing clinches in the final 3 rounds as Adamek was the fresher of the two. “I knew I lost the last 2 rounds but I thought I did enough with my jab to win the fight,” said Cunningham.

In the eleventh it was one of the best rounds of the fight with Adamek gaining the edge. In the final round referee Gary Rosato gave his only warning of the fight to Cunningham for holding behind the head. This was another close round. It looked like Cunningham would be declared the winner by a slim margin. At first the fight was declared a draw and then given to Adamek by split decision. DHB gave Adamek the last 3 rounds scoring it 114-114 a draw.

Cunningham was very upset losing again. “I go all over the world and fight the best and can’t win at home. “He ran too much and doesn’t punch like a heavyweight.” This writer remarked “someone put marks on your face”. Bloodworth responded with “so is Cunningham’s face marked.” Which it was with swelling along his right eye kept down by his cut-man Buddy Osborn.

When asked if Adamek in gaining the No. 2 spot and retaining his IBF North American title would fight the No. 1 contender Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria who holds the EBU and IBF International titles promoter Kathy Duva remarked “we’ll be negotiating that”. The IBF and WBA super champion Wladimir Klitschko is being forced to defend against WBA champion Alexander Povetkin in the meantime. Cunningham is ranked No. 13 and even though he was declared the loser should move up into the top 10.

The co-main event had Tor Hamer, 19-2 (12) of NY winning the first 2 rounds before slowing down to a halt in losing the next 2 to Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov, 14-0 (10) of Lugansk, UKR. Suddenly Hamer was not coming out for the fifth round and left referee Steve “double SS” Smoger no alternative but to declare Glazkov the winner. It was a good even fight for 4 rounds of this heavyweight scheduled for 8. Don Turner worked the Glazov corner.

In another fight almost as good as the main event PA 135 champ Niam Nelson, 9-0 (1), of Philadelphia, started slow losing the first 2 rounds but came back to defeat Osnel Charles, 9-5-1 (1), a Haitian out of Atlantic City by scores of 78-74 by Steve Weisfeld and Dave Greer. Dave Braslow had it 77-75 as did DHB for Nelson over 8 rounds. Smoger was the ref and warned Nelson twice about low blows. “He’s tough and one of my favorite fighters. When I was told I was fighting him I thought this is going to be a good one,” said Nelson. The corner of Charles felt they got shortchanged.

Jerome Rodriguez, 2-0-1 (1), of Trenton, NJ, now out of Allentown, PA, looked as good as anyone on the card in stopping fellow southpaw Edwardo Stith, 0-1, of Philadelphia at 2:56 of the second round when referee Rosato jumped in to prevent any further punishment. The winner praised his corner and main sparring partner Arturo Trujillo for getting him ready. “We hope to get Jerome back into the ring in January or February,” said his manager Jimmy Deoria. Lemuel “Indio” Rodriguez is his trainer.

In the opener Will Miranda, 6-5-2 (0), of Allentown and David Williams, 6-6-2 (2) of Philadelphia battled to a heavyweight draw after 4 rounds. Miranda took the first and fourth rounds. “He may be 35 but he had me hurt in this fight,” said Miranda.

In the swing bout Julio Angel DeJesus, 6-3-3 (3), of Yacobua, PR, on 3 days notice took on Korey Sloane, 2-5-2 (0), of Philadelphia in a 4 round welterweight match-up. The taller Sloan fought off the ever attacking DeJesus on even terms to gain a draw. DeJesus looked like the winner as DHB had it 3-1. Smoger was the referee.


E-mail questions, comments to Ken Hissner

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