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Their first fight was the best cruiserweight war since James Toney beat Vassiliy Jirov. Consequently Cunningham lost a questionable but fair split decision. The rematch was good but not the best heavyweight fight of the year. Consequently Cunningham utterly dominated and still lost a split decision. Where's the justice? None was to be had on this night.
Boxing's return to NBC, network television, certainly delivered on entertainment value but was unfortunately marred by controversy yet again. Fans were treated to a top level boxing match but only die hard Tomasz Adamek fans could have been satisfied with the result. For the majority of the fight Steve Cunningham took Adamek to school. Honestly, you could have given Adamek every remotely close round and Cunningham still beat him. To make matters worse the fight was initially announced a draw before the even scorecard (from Debra Barnes) later came back 115-113 Adamek. Because Dave Greer also scored it for Adamek (116-112), Tom Miller's 115-113 score for Cunningham could only salvage Cunningham a split decision loss.
From press row I had the fight 118-111 Cunningham, giving Adamek rounds 8 and 12 while scoring the 11th even. At best I saw 4 rounds to give to Tomasz, which is how unattached promoter Russell Peltz told me he had it. Cunningham picked Adamek apart with the jab the entire fight and rocked him multiple times by following up with the right hand. But unfortunately neither the judges nor Tomasz saw it that way. It's not unusual for a fighter to believe he deserved to win a poor decision, but the way Adamek completely dismissed Cunningham's boxing clinic in the post-fight presser was just too much to bear. Check out that press conference and interviews with Steve Cunningham, trainer Nazim Richardson, and stable mates Eddie Chambers and Jamaal Davis below.
Steve Cunningham & Nazim Richardson Post-Fight Interview
Nazim Richardson Interview Continued
Jamaal Davis Interview
Post-Fight Presser (1/2)
Post-Fight Presser (2/2)
Eddie Chambers Interview
Whether we like it or not Adamek is still the IBF North American heavyweight champion and will likely be allowed to move on to a showdown with #1 IBF ranked Kubrat Pulev. No matter how badly Adamek was dominated in some rounds, particularly the 10th, at least one judge scored every single round for him. Nonetheless I predicted Cunningham would beat Adamek and I'm going to predict Pulev will do the same. Fortunately for Pulev I even like his chances of stopping Adamek. But even if Adamek manages to rob Pulev as well, he clearly stands no chance of beating Wladimir Klitschko.
But the pay check for losing to Wladimir should be enough to make Tomasz happy, and perhaps happy enough to retire. Adamek may have 4 official wins in 2012 that would rival most, but it was NOT his year. At 36 years of age after many brutal fights from light heavyweight to heavyweight, I think Adamek is well on his way out.
Vyacheslav Glazkov RTD4 Tor Hamer - Heavyweights
After a decent opening round, which I thought he won, Hamer slowly fell apart against Glazkov then quit on his stool after 4 rounds. Hamer did take a beating in the 4th round, but it wasn't enough to call it a 10-8 round and he still clearly had a lot more to offer. There are rumors floating around that Hamer was sick, but that doesn't excuse quitting. Promoter Lou DiBella cannot be happy.
On the other hand Glazkov, who has now staged 2 of his 14 fights/wins in the USA, is now riding a career best win aired live on American network television. I caught up with Glazkov after the fight to find out what this win meant to him and more.
Jerome Rodriguez TKO2 Edwardo Smith - Light Welterweights
After a 1 sided beat-down, a right uppercut rendered Smith helpless and Rodriguez teed off until the referee stepped in @ 2:56 into the 2nd round.
Naim Nelson UD8 Osnel Charles - Lightweights
Aside from holding back in the first and last rounds, undefeated lightweight prospect Nelson pretty much had his way with Charles. Although the most significant bout on the non-televised portion of the card, Nelson-Charles took place 2nd in order to avoid running the risk of being a swing bout after the main event. Nelson kept a high guard and was very accurate with his punches. Nelson won the fight by punching in combinations and defending better than Charles. 9-0 as a pro and the reigning PA State lightweight champion, Nelson looks on to bigger and better things next year. I caught up with him in his locker room after the fight.
David Williams D4 William Miranda - Heavyweights
In an overweight, I mean heavyweight opener, Williams out boxed Miranda but had to settle for a split draw. The pro-Miranda crowd thought their man did enough to win, but he was just too slow to get off in at least 2 of the rounds. Miranda, a shorter and much heavier man, was well over an ideal weight but used his 30 lb weight "advantage" to push Williams back and walk through his best shots. However, because Miranda's offense was sparse and his punches lacked snap, I only gave him the 1st round. Somehow he finished the fight a bloody mess but did not lose. Still, Williams could have done more and would probably be a cruiserweight if he got himself into top shape. But if that happened this fight wouldn't have been sanctioned in the first place.
Post-Main Event Swing Bout:
Julio Angel De Jesus D4 Korey Sloane - Welterweights
Scores read 39-37, 38-38, and 38-38 resulting in a majority draw. I however can't comment on the action at this time because I was busy getting interviews when it aired...I hope you watched them.