Heavyweights Adamek, Cunningham and Jennings Win at Newark! Ringside Boxing Report
Heavyweights Adamek, Cunningham and Jennings Win at Newark! Ringside Boxing Report
By Ken Hissner at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (Sept 10, 2012) Doghouse Boxing (Photos © Gary Purfield)
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Tomasz Adamek after his win over Travis Walker
Ken Hissner & Polish Beauty
Ringside Boxing report by Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing. Tomasz Adamek, 47-2 (29), of Gilowice, Poland, came off the canvas in the 2nd round Saturday afternoon at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, to put Travis Walker, 39-8-1 (31), of Tallahassee, FL, on the canvas for one of the most exciting rounds in a major fight this year and would go onto score a 5th round stoppage!  “Ironbound Throwdown” is what Kathy Duvas’s Main Events, Peltz Boxing and Ziggy Promotions called it and it looked like a real throwback boxing fight!  This was an IBF North American title defense for Adamek.

Adamek, a former 2-division champion continues to beat the big boy’s especially at Newark.  Outsized by the much bigger Walker, Adamek was dropped with a right to the left side of his forehead and had the mark to prove it after the fight.  He struggled to stay upright as the oncoming Walker came forward for the finish.  “I got over excited thinking it would be an early night for me,” said Walker.  

As Adamek was having Walker missing he landed a right cross of his own and down went Walker to the excitement of the shocked fans after seeing their star boxer on the canvas seconds prior to this.  As the bell sounded Adamek had Walker on the defense in the Adamek corner landing punch after punch before referee Eddie Cotton finally realized the bell had sounded ending the round.  All 3 judges scored the round differently, 10-10, 10-9 and 9-10.   Adamek went on the offense in the 3rd round showing he was too quick for the slow moving Walker.  In the 4th round Adamek landed a combination that rocked Walker and followed up with a straight right to the jaw.

In the 5th and final round you could see the look of determination on the face of Adamek as he pressed forward and unloaded 26 straight punches before referee Cotton got between the fighters and waved it off at 1:08 of the round!  “Thank you God, I am okay and he is too.  Speed is power,” said Adamek.  After 4 rounds Debra Barnes had Adamek ahead 40-37 while judges Ron McNair and Robin Taylor had it 39-37 for Adamek as did DHB with a 10-10 second round.

This show was aired by both Wealth TV and Polish PPV.  This was an unusual afternoon show so the fans back in Poland would be able to view it at a decent hour. This may have kept the attendance down as many of the Polish fans may have been watching it at home to the usually packed center. There are plans to come back to the Prudential Center in December.  

Former 2-time IBF cruiserweight champion Philadelphia’s Steve “USS” Cunningham, 25-4 (12), made his heavyweight debut by 7 pounds over the cruiserweight limit as he won a lopsided decision over game Jason Gavern, 21-11-4 (10) now listed out of Harrisonburg, VA, though he seems to call FL his home.  Head’s collided in the first round and Cunningham came out the worst for wear suffering a cut just below his left eye brow.  Referee David Fields called it an unintentional head butt.  Cut-man Buddy Osborn did a fine job in closing the cut for the most part the rest of the way.

A jab in the second round by Cunningham knocked Gavern back several steps.  Cunningham seemed just as busy as a heavyweight as he had been at cruiserweight.  The last time he fought at the center was in 2008 when he lost a close decision to Adamek along with his title.  He was then under contract to Don King and eventually signed by Sauerland Event in Germany.  Recently he signed with Main Events for his first fight at heavyweight.  “We welcomed Steve Cunningham to our team,” said Kathy Duva.  That was after the fight at the press conference.

In the 3rd round a right hand to the left eye of Gavern seemed to hurt him.  Cunningham seemed to be able to land that chopping right hand all night to the head of Gavern.  In the 4th Gavern put on a small rally to let Cunningham and the fans know he was a gamer. This was short lived as Cunningham kept up the pace and the out landing of Gavern.  

This seemed to set the pace as Cunningham poured on the pressure but Gavern showed his toughness and was never in danger of hitting the canvas though you at times wondered what was keeping him up.  John McKaie and Eugene Grant had it 100-90, as did DHB while Emil Conforti had it 99-91 all for Cunningham.  

“I want to thank my wife and manager (Livvy), promoter Kathy Duva, trainer Naazim Richardson and trainer and cut-man Buddy Osborn.  God has a plan, some of us know, for I was getting squeezed out of the cruiserweight division and had to move up.  Gavern and I share the same faith but in boxing that sometimes happens.  He was a tough opponent.  Without my wife and Jesus Christ who brought her into my life I felt I otherwise was forgotten while fighting overseas,” said Cunningham.   When asked by this writer about a possible fight with WBA champion Alexander Povetkin Duva passed it over to Cunningham who said “I would like to fight Povetkin and I knew when Marco Huck drew with him that I was a heavyweight.  I actually thought Huck defeated him”.

In the first of 3 heavyweight matches another Philadelphian kept his unbeaten record as Bryant “By-By” Jennings, 15-0 (7), showed his power as he landed his first punches a lead right and a follow-up left to drop Chris Koval, 25-10 (18), of Youngstown, OH, who was very shaken as he got up.  Jennings jumped on him landing another right and left combination again dropping Koval.  Referee David Franciosa had seen enough at 0:35 of the first round.  His biggest fan at ringside, his grandmother, told this writer, “I didn’t think it would be over that fast”.  “I feel so good I want to come back on September 21st in Bethlehem and be on that show,” said Jennings.  His promoter J Russell Peltz has one scheduled for that night.  “Our team of Fred Jenkins Jr and Fred Jenkins Sr keeps on rolling,” said Jennings.

Before the fight in the dressing room when Jennings was asked about a fight for the title he didn’t hesitate in saying “I’d take it in a heartbeat”.  Jenkins, Sr, said “I want to put the champions on notice that Bryant Jennings is a heavyweight to be reckoned with and willing to fight any of them at anytime”.  Well, Jennings certainly showed his power later that afternoon in stopping Koval on 4 punches.

In one of the more interesting bouts on the card Jerry Belmontes, 17-0 (5), of Corpus Christi, TX, kept his unbeaten record defeating Joselito “Rumble King” Collado, 13-2 (3), out of Queens, NY, over 8 rounds in the junior lightweight division.  In the opening minutes a clash of heads caused a vertical cut on the forehead of Collado.  This was never an issue during the fight though.    

Collado would come forward wide open but still have the ability to land punches.  On the other hand Belmontes didn’t seem to want to take advantage of the cut and let his hands fly even faster than Collado mostly to the body.  It was a rough fight with Collado landing more than his share of rabbit punches before referee Fields finally issued a warning by the 4th round.  “He got away with quite a few of those punches behind the head,” said Belmontes.  

In the final 2 rounds Belmontes showed his defensive skills as he had Collado frustrated with miss after miss.  Both fighters through the first 6 rounds landed their share of punches in a closely contested bout that had the faster Belmontes seemingly ahead.  As a veteran of 140 amateur fights he showed how well schooled he was.  Judges Grant and Conforti along with DHB had it 78-74 while McKaie had it 77-75 all for Belmontes.

Main Events recently signed Belmontes and seem to have a real find with him.  His corner consists of his assistant trainer and father Salvadore, head trainer Derrick James and cut-man Richard Rodriguez.  James retired in 2008 after a 16-year career as a cruiserweight posting a 21-7-1 record.

In a 6 round junior welterweight match Jose “Kangu” Peralta, 10-1 (6), out of Passaic, NJ, had his way with Christian Steele, 3-5 (1), out of Philadelphia, after losing the 1st round on 2 of the 3 judges score cards while landing his left hook time and again to the body of Steele. He finally went to the head with the left hook to the chin dropping Steele.  In the 3rd round Peralta picked up where he left off with a counter right to the chin for another knockdown as referee Franciosa put a stop to it at 0:46 of the 3rd round.

In the opening bout Philadelphia’s Karl “Dynamite” Dargan, 11-0 (6), made the 135 give or take a pound contract at 136 but his opponent Jesse Carradine, 8-2-1 (4), out of Cincinnati, OH, came in light at 130.  Referee Fields called a questionable knockdown that looked more like a slip as Carradine’s one glove touched the canvas.  To add to the confusion Fields started wiping off the gloves of Dargan before he realized it was the wrong fighter.  In the 2nd round Carradine landed his share of chopping rights but not enough to offset the busier Dargan.

In the 3rd round Dargan dropped Carradine with a left hook to the chin.  Though Carradine got through the round he was on unsteady feet.  In the 4th a right to the chin dropped Carradine a second time.  He started to hold after that making the referee struggle to separate the fighters on several occasions.  When Carradine slipped through the ropes Fields saw enough and suddenly waved the fight off.  The fans were not sure whether it was a disqualification of what.  Fields signaled the fight was over at 1:04 of the 4th round.  

Carradine who attended Northern Michigan U. and his trainer Don Turner have to decide which weight class they are going to have Carradine in the future.  Dargan, a former Pan American Gold medalist and nephew of his trainer Naazim Richardson seemed quite pleased with the win.  Turner made no complaints to the stoppage.

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