By Jake Donovan
The outcome of Saturday’s rematch between Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham has dominated the headlines for the past 24 hours.
Their bout will now dominate the airwaves for the rest of the year.
Adamek’s highly controversial split decision nod over Cunningham served as NBC’s first pro boxing broadcast in nearly a decade. Affiliate network NBC Sports will air the exclusive replay of their 12-round bout from Sands Resort Casino in Bethlehem, PA.
Saturday’s card served as an extension of the NBC Sports Fight Night series, which completed its first year. Main Events reached a new deal with the network, extending the series through 2014 and guaranteeing up to two dates per year on flagship station NBC.
The rematch between Adamek and Cunningham marked the series’ final fight of 2012. Their first fight four years ago, in which Adamek scored three knockdowns en route to a well-deserved split decision, was hailed by many as among the very best fights of 2008. The win netted Adamek the lineal cruiserweight crown, which he defended twice before moving up to the heavyweight division.
Cunningham remained at cruiserweight, reclaiming a belt before losing it last year to Yoan Pablo Hernandez and also losing the rematch earlier this year. The second fight with Hernandez was Cunningham’s last ever at cruiserweight, moving up to heavyweight beginning with his 10-round win over Jason Gavern in September.
The American’s performance on Saturday was arguably the best of his career, enough to where the initial announcement of a draw verdict leaving many disappointed. Ring announcer Michael Buffer immediately corrected himself and revealed Adamek as the winner, at which point the outrage truly began and only escalated from there.
Boxing fans who missed the heavyweight fight but followed the story can now view for themselves during tonight’s rebroadcast on NBC Sports. The full replay schedule for the card – which also includes Vyachaslev Glazkov’s stoppage win over Tor Hamer in the co-feature - is as follows (all times ET):
Tuesday, December 25: 5PM - 7PM
Thursday, December 27: 9:30PM -11:30PM
Friday, December 28: 11PM - 1AM
Thursday, January 3: 9 PM - 11PM
Friday, January 4: 12AM - 2AM
‘NBC Sports Fight Night’ returns January 19 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. Sergey Kovalev faces former light heavyweight titlist Gabriel Campillo in the main event.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox